Updated: Mar 9
In our home, we have always discouraged the use of the word HATE since it is such a strong and powerful word and there are usually more descriptive ways to explain how you feel about something. Of course, we also wouldn't allow LYING for the sake of being polite. For example, if we were serving a casserole for dinner, the children couldn't say they weren't hungry (if that was not true) to get out of trying it, and they couldn't say, "I hate casseroles," but they could say, "Casseroles aren't my favorite."
Incidentally, "not my favorite" ended up becoming a euphemism for "I hate this"! 🤦🏻♀️ By the way:
We only required that they try a couple bites, but if they didn't eat it, they didn't get anything else. And since they are all still alive, you can see that no one DIED by missing a meal now and again.
I didn't even plan to begin this article in this way, I actually started by typing: "Writing is not a favorite of our boys..." and then I thought that you'd need the BACKGROUND of what "not a favorite" actually MEANS in our home! So, now you know, back to it...
When talking about this with my husband, he remembered that he had a creative writing teacher in undergrad who would assign his class a topic each day. Then, they would spend class time discussing and next write a 500+ word essay on it. He said that helped him get his ideas out and on paper and really start enjoying writing. So, we gave it a try about a month ago!
Every Friday, Tim and the boys sit down and have a discussion and by the following Thursday, they have to have written a 500+ word essay on that topic. It's been going pretty well.
If you're still reading, you may be wondering exactly what all this has to do with having a "safe" home?!
Read on my fearless readers, it's coming and it's worth it 😉
I have to admit something that is HARD: Sometimes, our boys aren't very kind to each other. GASP!?! Yes, it's true. Most of the time, they are playful and helpful and relaxed with each other. But sometimes, especially when they are around other kids, they are like mortal enemies. It's actually heartbreaking to me and, since I had no siblings of close age, I don't really have a frame of reference for this. My husband, who was much closer in age with his siblings, says this is typical. I wonder..... 🤷🏻♀️
Well last Thursday, we spent the evening with friends who had several boys the same age as ours. By the time we got home, you'd have thought they were going to come to blows - or tears - with all the very strong emotions that had taken place! Both of them felt the other hadn't supported him around their friends. Both of them felt left out. Both of them felt like it was their brother who was wrong. Neither of them owned up to their own role in the matter.
The next day, the topic of discussion was "Why our Home Needs to Be a Safe Place." I could write about all the things we talked about, what we tried to teach them, and oh how we prayed over them, for them and with them...but I thought I'd just copy and paste their papers here. Have I mentioned before how AMAZING these two human beings are?
Home should be a safe place because out in the real world people could be taking advantage of you. You could be a new person on a job and since you'’e new, every one gives you most of their work. Or if you’re at school, kids could bully you for numerous reasons. You’re new, you’re smart, you look different from them, you act different from them. They are having a tough time at home so they take it out on you because you’re around. This list goes on and on. Maybe you’re under stress. And you want to come home and not do anything because of what's going on outside of home.
Home needs to be a safe place because you need to have a place where you can be you and not have a facade to other people. You can say what you want to say (within reason) and not have people judge you for that. Same with the way you act. I have friends that interpret the way I act wrong and that gets annoying. And some people don’t really hear what I am saying they just hear the little bits that sound wrong. But if they listen they’ll know what I am saying. And then they make fun of me for that and it triggers a chain reaction of teasing and puts the person that said that in the center and it is really rough. Especially if some of your friends don’t stand up and instead join in. It is probably just easier to join than to stand up. That exasperates me because I am usually in the center of all the teasing. With none other than my brother being the one to start it. It takes some control for me not to go off and punch. Sometimes he really asks for it.
If you have trouble with your family, go and talk to the person who is giving you trouble. If they deny it and say they were joking and you need to be less sensitive then you can tell an adult. But in all seriousness God made everyone the way they are and don’t let others tell you otherwise. They don’t know you that well or maybe they do but nobody knows you more than you so if they say that, then say “I am perfect.” And tell an adult. Make sure to be on the watch for people who are having a hard time because maybe their home isn’t safe and and they need someone to confide in. You never know unless you do something. Encourage them. Maybe then they will like school because they know they have a friend there. Then they will encourage you too. They could help you stand up to your friends and can tell them what needs to be said. And if they don’t stop don’t go and bully someone else either because hurt people hurt people. They do this so they can feel good about themselves. It probably will a few times but that doesn’t mean it is the definite and right solution.
Home should be a safe place because because we all need each other in life. If home isn’t a safe place then our relationships would start to fall apart and then we would all start to dislike each other. If we start to dislike each other we might turn to other people for relationships. We might join a gang or bad people who “accept” us. I know why this is our topic, because on Thursday I was mean to my brother in front of friends so we started to talk about why home should be a safe place. If we are getting made fun of, we need a safe place that we can come to, to get away from all the problems of the world. If that safe space is compromised then we will have to seek shelter in some other place that might not be good for us.
It is also important for our home to be a safe place because when we grow our relationships with one another, we grow our relationship with God. Also when we die we will be with each other for ever and ever in heaven so it is good for us to have a relationship down here. If home isn’t a safe place we will start to grow bitter to people and become dissatisfied with life as a whole. Some of us will feel bitter and that will start to go to each other, because our souls are permeable we need each other to be happy or else we will all start to feel bad.
When mom and dad die my brother and I will only have each other. No one in the world will have the kind of connection him and I have, so it is vital to have a good healthy relationship now so it can grow in the future. If our relationship is bad now, whenever we grow up and leave the house we most likely won't want anything to do with each other and that is not good at all.
Finally, if I am getting made fun of or something like that I am sure I will want a safe place to be and share my thoughts to my family. When you grow up, if you had a bad time as a kid (like being bulled or whatever) you will grow up to be rude and unsatisfied. If you are rude you will suck at your job or just get fired. Then seeing that your life is spiraling down you will join a gang for comfort, and then you pass the point of no return. You will do bad things with the gang and then go to prison. Once in prison you will look at an inmate wrong and then they will kill you and you will die. Wow that was a very big worst case scenario, I sincerely hope that our lives come nothing even remotely close to that.
Well, to prevent that it all starts at home.
Connect Point Moms helps you create stronger relational connections with the children in your life. This starts with being aware of your own stuff so you can BE PRESENT with your children in the moment you're in, and then knowing and using the best ways to communicate with them! For quick, helpful videos on topics like this one, find "Kate Connects" on YouTube!