Five powerful steps to let your kids feel „at home“ in your family.
It is possible for a child to not feel really “at home” in its own family. To miss this sense of really being known, loved, belong and be a vital part of the family. Here are five powerful steps to help you evaluate your own family, and the basics to take your own practical steps to improve the feeling of your own kids if needed.
1. Think as “us” in everything – including the kids. I know families where the parents almost have a battlefront against their own kids, fearing that their marriage will break, their personal need will be left out -or the kids will turn out spoiled if they don’t. Don’t do that. It will definitely work against your desire that the kids may feel “home” in your family.
2. Realize that family relationships are the most important. As parents we have the power to edify the unity and the feeling of belonging for every child by teaching them that siblings-relationship are the most important. More important than friends who come play from outside. When I have kids from outside at our house, and they try to get my oldest (kindergarten-age) to laugh about how his little sister is drawing …. I always tell them: In our family we don’t laugh about each other. NEVER. And we don’t allow others from outside to do so. I teach them that siblings are siblings forever. Friends come and go. So every child does feel save and “home” in his own family.
3. Be present in the life of your kids. No matter how busy life is, maybe both parents are working, or you are consumed with your actual life situation… Always, always make space for quality time! We have four children, a business and there is lots to do. But we saw that planning a regular quality time for each child with their dad, times where they can decide if they want to play a game, talk, have fun or whatever makes a huge difference of the relationship quality and overall feeling as a family!
4. Always, always, always give them the feeling to be loved.
Look beyond their behaviour. Look beyond your own exhaustion, sorrow or fears. If you are like me, then there are situations that are not so easy and it takes self-control and determination to not let the kids suffer from how you feel right then. But let them know that they are loved. Let them know that you will be there for them no matter what … That you see how amazing they are (if you don’t it’s time to dig for the gold in your child)-That they are fearfully and wonderfully made. And tell them. Daily. And don’t worry. They will never get spoiled by you doing that.
5. Be friends! I’ve heard from many places that this is one thing you should not be. A friend of your kids. I will soon do a blog post about this subject because it’s a bigger one as you might think. Here I will just say: I am a friend of my Kids. And the best compliment my husband gets from them is: “You are my best friend, Daddy”. Not in the sense that you are on the same level and that you share with them everything going on in your life. But think about, if you would feel the freedom to treat your friend like you treat your child (well, probably not you, but many people do) …yell at them, being harsh, critical, distant, never there, only caring for their behaviour, always believing the worst about them… how long would this friend stay your friend? So how much more we want to treat our kids the way would we treat a friend? And don’t worry. By doing it right, they will not lose respect. They will respect you MORE.