For the past few weeks my son has been getting bullied at school.
This has been a difficult thing for him to endure, and it has been equally hard for me as his mom to watch him have to struggle with this every day.
But as I have been watching him try to work his way through this difficult time, I have been reminded of some wise advice that my own mom gave me when I had my first child.
She told me that what a child needs more than anything in this life is a safe place to land at the end of the day where they KNOW they are loved and protected. Where they are free to express their feelings in a place where those feelings will be respected and honored.
So each night I have made a extra effort to let him know how special he is and how proud I am of the way he has been handling this situation.
So today, I wanted to talk a bit about making HOME a safe and nurturing HOME-BASE for our families.
What do you think of when you hear the phrase, HOME BASE?
Whether it’s capture the flag,
or just regular ol’ tag,
Every kid knows that when they are being chased or simply need a break from danger…
They head to HOME BASE.
If they are touching the tree or standing on the towel that represents home base, no one can attack them.
It’s their chance to shout encouraging or strategic advice to their teammates.
It’s their opportunity to catch their breath for a few moments before diving back into the game.
For kids, home base represents safety.
Can the same be said of your home?
When your kids long for some encouragement, do they head home?
When your kids need to feel protected, do they veer toward your driveway?
Is home a place where they will further experience emotional attacks and feel insecure?
These are probably the most important questions any parent can and should ask themselves.
So what are some ways that you can create a strong feeling of safety and security in your home?
Here are a few of the ways that I have created a HEAVEN on EARTH for my kids inside our home.
#1: Regular family dinners are a big part of the magical formula that has brought harmony and happiness to our home.
According to research kids who have dinner with their families seem to make better choices and avoid disorders and high-risk behaviors, including depression, delinquency, and drug and alcohol use.
Family dinner conversations are a bright light in my relationships with my children.
I enjoy how when one child is going through a difficult time, the other three assist me in wrapping their love around their sibling during the dinner time conversations.
The older ones will offer advice and suggestions, while the younger ones generally seem to just express their love and support.
It has been during the dinner conversations that the sense of TEAMWORK has been cemented in our family.
#2: Another really important way to make your home a safe place is to simply Be there.
Parents committed to building enduring faith through their homes often start with a simple, basic step.
They regularly choose to be at home with their kids.
As a single mom, I had to try really hard to make sure that I made time for each one of my kids individually.
I wanted them to know that of all my responsibilities in life, they were the most important one I had.
So making time for them became a HUGE priority for me, and the results have been amazing.
#3: Another big tip is one that at times has been a HUGE challenge for me as a single parent, but the dividends were well worth the cost.
And that tip is: Stock the fridge.
Many times this has literally been the glue that has made our home a social hub for my kids and their friends.
I found that “If I kept my fridge and cupboard stocked, the kids friends come over a lot.
It gets pricey, but it’s worth it because this way, I know who their friends are and how they behave.
#4: Another way to create a sanctuary for your kids is to make sure that your home is a reflection of your faith and your values.
As followers of Jesus, I feel that my house should reflect my faith.
I have tried to have a memento of my faith in every room in my house that reminds my family, as well as others visiting, of our commitment to Christ.
#5: Another really fun way to bring your family closer and to create memories that will carry them through their lifetimes is to have a “Game Night” where you sit at the table and eat snacks and play one game together.
This has been HUGE in integrating Jeff into our family routine and making him feel that he is an important part of our TEAM.
So this weekend, as you are home with your families try out a few of these ideas and watch how the atmosphere in your home softens and becomes more loving.
I love when we have guests and they say that they don’t want to leave because our home has such a good feeling about it. They say they just want to sit and bask in the welcoming and loving atmosphere that they can literally feel when they are in my home.
For me that is the ultimate compliment!