You Can Create an Intentional Culture at Home
One of the keys for creating a home culture or environment we want comes from creating boundaries that work for us as parents. Something that is helpful is to realize that we have the authority in our homes to set boundaries, and if we don’t set them, there are three powerful kids who will be more than happy to set them for us. By boundaries, we don’t mean control. Sometimes when we hear the word ‘boundaries’ we think restrictions and rules. Boundaries can be a negative thing, but it can also be positive. Many times our habits and routines are actually a manifestation of internal boundaries we have set so our home is how we want it to be. These habits help keep us from stepping out into places we didn’t really want to go. Boundaries are meant to keep habits, routines, and people in our lives, not keep them out.
We are the parents, and this is our home. We paid for it, and we work to keep our home so our family has a place to live and do life together. Because this is the parents’ house, not the children’s house, we, as parents, get to decide what we do and do not allow.
One boundary we have in the Dahl house is not allowing doors to slam. It’s simply not allowed. One day when our daughter was younger, she ran back to her room to do quiet time. She wasn’t mad, but she was running so fast that when she went in her room she accidentally slammed the door. It was very loud and very hard. One of us walked back, opened her door, and said, “Brooklyn, we don’t slam doors in our house. I know it was an accident, but I need you to try again.”
“Okay.” Brooklyn proceeded to re-shut the door very quietly.
We don’t want our house to be a place where slamming doors is okay. It communicates anger, frustration, and a lack of self-control. Is it okay for our children to feel angry and frustrated sometimes? Of course. But we are teaching them to communicate it in a way which doesn’t disrupt our home environment and cause others to feel and take on another’s frustration.
Many times our home environments aren’t what we would love them to be, because we are allowing behaviors or circumstances to happen which should never be happening. Some examples from our home of things we don’t allow are slamming doors, yelling, mean or harsh tones of voice, fighting, pushing, hitting, whining, talking back, or throwing oneself on the floor in frustration. They simply aren’t an option. If one of our children does one of these things, we correct them, explain why we don’t do that, and they get some kind of consequence. We also talk through what they are feeling, so our children can learn to communicate these emotions with words instead of reactions.
A huge part of boundaries succeeding is our mindsets. These few things we listed above rarely happen in our home. Why? Because we don’t expect them to. In our minds, it is not an option to do one of the above behaviors in the Dahl house. We don’t say this in a harsh way, but we simply do not allow those behaviors in our home.
When our children do begin to raise their voices at each other, we simply remind them in a calm tone of voice, “Hey guys, we talk to each other in a kind tone of voice, remember? Go ahead and try again.” These subtle reminders correct behavior and protect our peace.
What type of culture do you want to create in your home? How can your family work together to create and keep that environment in your home?