How would your kid’s friends describe your home? Not what your home looks like, but how it makes them feel when they are there.
I recently had a conversation with a mom of a young teen. His friend was going to be in town for a few weeks and he had the option to stay at a very wealthy relative’s home with lots of bedrooms and bathrooms or stay at their house. There is one bathroom in my friend’s house and her son’s friend would need to sleep on a small bed in her son’s room. The friend started out at the relative’s house, but within a few days he asked to come to my friend’s house. What was the difference? At my friend’s house, the mom makes everyone feel special and that they matter to her. There is a warm welcoming feeling for anyone who is there.
As parents, we can go to a lot of trouble and expense to provide the best living space possible for our kids and that is great, but what is going to matter the most is how you feel when you are in the home.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself about your home:
- Does the family enjoy being together or does each family member prefer to be in their own space away from everyone else?
- Is there a meal a day when everyone sits down at the same time and talks to each other?
- Does everyone, no matter how old or young, feel like it is okay to express their opinions and ideas?
- Are there healthy boundaries and ways to resolve conflict that minimizes hurt feelings?
- Is it fun?
Take a step back and assess your home environment. The feeling in a home is defined by the parents. What is the feeling in your home?