In the average American home, we will find a plethora of tools to keep our homes safe. We install alarm systems, multiple locks and cameras in our homes in hopes to protect the ones we love.
I’m not talking about this kind of safe.
Is your home a safe place for you kids to struggle and to work out their doubts, fears and understandings of the world?
Can your kids come into your home knowing that no matter what they do, or say you will love them? We want our kids to come to us on their best days and their worst. In order to create a safe home, we must create a culture of safety within our homes. Here are five keys to unlock safety in your home.
1. Prove it.
It’s one thing to say you want to be safe and it’s another thing to actually be a safe place. Prove it by how you interact and let your kids know that they can come to you with anything. Always practice the 10 second principle (See link here) and do your best to be a parent who responds instead of reacting to situations or comments. The best way to be prepared is to work out scenarios in your head and think about what you will do if… “If my kids come to me with (fill in the blank) I will respond by (fill in the blank).” Thinking through these scenarios is not being paranoid; it’s being prepared.
When it comes to teaching and training our children, we must be good at repetition. If we want to be a safe place for our kids to come to us for anything, we must practice repetition. When is the last time you told your kids, “I just want you to know that no matter what you can talk to me about anything”? Don’t just say it once, repeat it over and over. Keeping that bug in their ear tells your kids that you are safe and they can run to you on their worst and best days.
Your home may never be a quiet place, but it must be a place of peace and peacemaking. It must be a place where your kids can find refuge. When those hard days happen, you want your home to be a place where your kids can catch their breath and be encouraged. How you cultivate peace starts with having peace in your own heart. You must find rest in who you are in Christ in order to portray Christ’s peace to your kids. Build within your home that resolution of conflict matters and that you are willing to work through hard situations for healthy resolutions.
You must have rules and regulations in your home along with consequences. Freedom doesn’t mean chaos. Freedom means that your children must know that they have freedom to ask mom and dad anything and freedom to wrestle with hard questions and doubts without being belittled for bringing up the subjects. If you shut down freedom, your kids will not come to you. If you say, “We don’t talk about that in this house,” you have put chains on all other conversations in the future.
5. Love with words and actions.
This is the most important key. Every parent loves their kids. Some are better with their words and actions than others, but we do love them. One of the greatest ways to cultivate safety in your home is for your kids to know that you love them no matter what. How can you say and show your love to them without attaching it to performance? How can you say and show your love to them without expecting anything in return? We must lean on Jesus because he has set the example for this kind of love.