Good Monday, friends!
In “His Revolutionary Love” my goal is to empower girl’s with confidence that will lead them to make wise choices.One of the things that builds confidence into our girl’s lives is having a safe place to talk and hopefully that safe place will be with us!
My wise friend, Mary DeMuth, also has a desire to help us to instill confidence in our kids; so I have asked her to be a special guest with us today. Mary has a new book out that I have been enjoying,You Can Raise Courgeous and Confident Kids: Preparing Your Children for the World They Live In. I’ve so enjoyed this book, I’m giving away a copy of it so be sure to share your comments after reading Mary’s post.
Create a Haven in Your Home In Ten Steps
by Mary DeMuth
I’ve parented two teen girls now, with one off to college as you read this, and the other finishing up junior high. One of the things I learned along the way is that my kids need a haven. I can’t protect them from the big, bad world. In fact, it wouldn’t be good to do so always. They need to learn to navigate the landscape beyond our front doors so that when they sprout wings (like my eldest daughter), they will know how to stand on their own. However, what has helped our kids is not our sheltering from issues, but welcoming them back home after the issues happen.
It’s our job to create a home they are wildly enthusiastic about. A haven. A place to let down and be themselves. Here are ten ways you can create a haven in your home.
1.Let kindness reign.
Determine to treat your children and spouse with the same sweetness you’d give a stranger you’re trying to impress. Remember it’s God’s kindness that leads us to repentance. What makes us think anything different would evoke our children’s repentance?
2.Welcome hard questions.
It’s okay to question. You did it, didn’t you? Give your children the same leeway. Let them vent. Let them worry. Welcome their wrestling. Don’t give pat answers; instead, let them work through their questions. Love them through a period of questioning.
Give your children the rare gift of your focused attention. Look into their eyes. Ask great questions. Relax alongside them. Dr. Ross Campbell says, “In short, focused attention makes a child feel he is the most important person in the world in his parents’ eyes.”
Steer your children away from mindless interaction with the TV or video games. Set limits and stick to them. Dare to believe your children are creative, innovative kids who can create instead of idly recreate.
We’ve lost the importance of outdoor play. Even if it means walking to the park with your kids, or swimming alongside them, or taking a nature hike, dare to move beyond the four walls of your home to venture out to see God’s creation.
6.Weep and rejoice at the right times.
We are to weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice (Romans 12:15). When a child has a difficult day, scoop her into your arms and cry alongside. When she makes a great grade, jump up and down and celebrate with ice cream.
Our kids grow up so fast in this crazy culture. Keep them kids as long as you can. Let them play, run, stretch, linger. Limit activities when they’re younger so they don’t become little stressed-out adults at age ten.
The most haven-producing thing I do as a mommy is simply to read to my kids. I still read to my fourteen year old! Discover books on CD as a family, lessening the tedium of car rides without popping in a DVD. My kids have stayed in the car to listen to a story finish.
9.Laugh hard, but not at another’s expense.
Joking and laughter are blessings you can add to create a fun-loving haven, but be cautious not to laugh at your kids’ expense or allow them to laugh at yours or others’ expense. Watch funny, clean movies together. Tell jokes. Tell funny family stories over and over until they become ridiculous. A lighthearted family that doesn’t take itself too seriously is a haven-home.
10.Practice God’s presence in the mundane.
Require chores of your kids. It teaches them important life skills. Even so, introduce joy as you work. Turn on the radio, dance, laugh. By learning to practice the presence of God during the chores of life, you create a productive, gratitude-based home.
Mary DeMuth is the author of 12 books, including Building the Christian Family You Never Had, Ordinary Mom, Extraordinary God, 150 Quick Questions to Get Your Kids Talking, and You Can Raise Courageous and Confident Kids. She lives with her husband and two of her children in Texas, while one has sprouted wings to Arkansas. She loves to help readers and listeners live uncaged. Find out more at http://www.marydemuth.com, http://www.facebook.com/authormarydemuth, and @MaryDeMuth on Twitter.
To be entered to win a copy of “You can Raise Courageous and Confident Kids” just answer this question: Which one of these steps of creating a haven in your home do you find the hardest?