In our family, we intentionally have tried to help our children feel happy at home. Over the years, we’ve used board games, pool and foosball tables, a zip line, themed family nights, and special family outings for them to look forward to. Our ultimate goal is for family life to be fun and memorable, and for our home to be a place where our kids want to be—both now and someday. Recently, one of our kids said to my wife and me, “I just really want to spend more time together at home.” Something about those words made us smile on the inside.
Imagine if your kids enjoyed being at home more than anywhere else. What if your kids grew up and actually looked forward to coming home? Andy Stanley has said, “We want to raise kids who one day want to spend time with us, even when they no longer have to.” What a great goal. But this doesn’t happen by accident. How do we make our homes irresistible to our kids both now and then? Here are a few ideas:
1. Make your home a place of fun.
The greatest memories your children can have should surround your home and the time spent there. I want that to be true of our family. I’m guessing that you want it to be true of yours as well. Family life should be fun. Laughter should be normal. Good memories should be made. While this can sometimes happen through entertainment and technology, some of your children’s greatest memories will probably be of playing outside together or of having that tickle fight.
2. Make your home a place of peace.
The world is not a peaceful place, but your home should be. When your kids come through the doors of your home, they should know that this is their place to find peace and comfort, despite anything that has happened in their day. While no home is perfect, your home ought to be the closest thing to heaven on earth for your kids. This requires that as parents, you choose not to argue in front of your kids and to make being a peacemaker a normal part of your family culture.
3. Make your home a welcoming place for their friends.
Relationships matter. The right relationships can be a springboard to your child’s success and the wrong relationships can be a huge setback. As a parent, leverage your influence to cultivate your children’s relationships as close to home as possible. Get to know your kids’ friends and make them feel comfortable in your home by providing a fun and engaging place to hang out. Having food, toys, games, and activities for your kids and their friends can be a helpful advantage.
4. Make your home a place of safety and security.
Home is supposed to be a child’s safe place—a place where a child feels secure. Children’s senses of safety and security come from knowing they are loved as well from boundaries and rules being clearly explained and enforced. So don’t shy away from being the bad guy when necessary and also don’t hesitate to lavish your kids with your love and affection.
5. Make your home a place of unconditional love.
Your home should be a place that your children know they can always come back to, no matter what they have done. Our children should believe in their hearts that there is nothing they can do that will ever change our love for them. This is the greatest key of all to making your home irresistible.
While each of these 5 ideas is important, none of them is instant. Ensuring that your kids are happy at home ultimately rises or falls on our intentionality as parents. You can do this!
Sound off: In which of these 5 ways could you improve the most?
Huddle Up Question
Huddle up with your kids and ask, “What is one way we could make our home a more enjoyable place?”