Coming home is so important, no matter how long we’ve been away. For our families to flourish, we all need home to be a safe, secure place so our kiddos (no matter their age) can put their focus on the demands of growing up in today’s crazy world.
More than anything else, I believe our kids love to be home when we are. No matter how old my boys get, I see how our presence (Mom and Dad) brings them comfort, so we try to make sure that one of us is home whenever they are. This is where important connections are formed (the ties that bind!) that are an important part of helping our kids establish themselves as responsible, productive soon-to-be ADULTS. (Yes, it goes by in a FLASH!!!)
We want our sons to become committed husbands and strong dads, so we’ve made sure to be conscious of this end result from the get-go of parenting. Spending time with our kids at home allows them the opportunity to learn how to do it for their families of the future, and why it’s important. Do they realize that now? Not likely, but someday they will.
I also try to be very aware of the atmosphere of our home, making sure it’s a secure setting the boys and their friends can count on. As Moms, we are the thermostat that sets the temperature and tone of our homes – our families can read this on our face as soon as they come through the door. I want my boys to be glad they are home, and to know I’m glad, too.
5 Tips for Creating a Haven for Our Kiddos
- “Light up” for your family members to welcome them home. There is no one more important and they need to SEE this in our greeting. It’s an action that says, without a doubt, you are special to me and I’m so happy you’re home.
- Know that it’s ok to pull back, slow down, and say NO. We told our boys to pick ONE thing that they wanted to do as they were growing up – sports, 4H, hunting, whatever. We supported them in this endeavor and helped make sure they were successful in their choice. We didn’t want our boys to be involved “in everything” and spread so thin that they ultimately failed at all of it because of pressure and feeling overwhelmed. We also knew we wanted to spend more time AT HOME, than on the road, driving them here, there, every where. Saying no really helped us set boundaries for the boys, and also to establish a hedge of protection around us that said “this family is important”.
- A predictable routine is a good thing. Kids find security in routine and in knowing what’s expected of them. Part of our home routine has always included unstructured time for the boys. Everybody needs some down time to recharge and regroup.
- Connect with your kids via a meal. It doesn’t have to be dinnertime, it just has to be a consistent time that you spend together, speaking the universal language of love: eating together! I like to do this each morning at 6:45 with my son, Wyatt, before he leaves for school at 7:00. He knows that when he comes out into the kitchen most morns, Mom is going to be there with a little something for breakfast that he likes and a little time to catch up. I call this “making a mark” on my sons before they head out into the world.
- Speak life into your kids and pray with them daily. Encouraging our kids gives them positive words to fall back on and praying with them empowers them in ways we may never fully know. A quick prayer time each day gives us the opportunity to offer praises for our kids in their presence and also allows them to hear what’s on our hearts, too.
Now You’re Cookin’,
This post originally aired on Periscope ChefAlli@maketakebake in February 2016.