Home. A peaceful home. No matter how big or small, shabby or plush, there’s no place like home. It’s a place that you get to be you. It is a place where you can feel safe; your sanctuary. Being a single parent is a challenge on its own and at times, the peace in our home is sacrificed as we try to keep it all together.
Love is the most durable power in the world. This creative force is the most potent instrument available in mankind’s quest for peace and security. Martin Luther King, Jr.
It’s not the structure of the building that’s makes a home a home. You can have torn couches and a broken fridge but it can still be peaceful and tranquil for you and your children.
You don’t need a interior designer
Creating a peaceful home doesn’t require an interior designer. We don’t need to get the Feng Shui right. We don’t need to have all the fancy trimmings. Colour, texture and the scent of our home are all environmental elements that add to our comfort in our home. We can have daily planners and lunchbox meals all thought out out for the entire year but that doesn’t mean that there is peace in our home.
I grew up in a society where to feel peaceful meant to feel safe. And this meant living in a home with high walls and burglar guards on the windows; keeping the perpetrators out. But for many, home is not always ‘paradise’. The perpetrator lies within. Thousands of children are raped and abused in their own homes. They are made to feel invisible, unwanted and useless. They grow up falling prey to poverty and crime. Children are raised by their grandparents while their parents leave their villages to go out to find work in the city. Many children are raised without seeing their parents for months.
Our children one day will raise our grandchildren
As cliché as this may sound, the children are our future. The first few years of their development are crucial in the way they will do life thereafter. They will follow our pattern of parenting. Whether we like this or not, they will raise our grandchildren like the way we raised them.
We need to be accountable for their lives that are entrusted to us. How we treat them now will determine what kind of husband/wife or parent they will become in the future. They will build families too and these families will build our future world.
Are our kids living in peace? Do they feel safe? Can they freely express themselves without fear and anxiety? Have we created a peaceful environment for our children?
Here are 30 ways to start creating a peaceful home:
1. In order to create a peaceful home you need to be at peace with yourself. Accept the situation that you are in as a single parent.
2. Tackle each challenging situation with a peaceful approach
3. Undo whatever bad parenting patterns you may have picked up on from your parents
4. Start each morning with a peaceful proverb
5. If you are dating, screen your date well before you bring him/her home
6. Allow your children to express themselves freely without feeling fear
7. Set up simple house rules like using the words, “Please” and “Thank you”
8. Ask your children what makes them feel peaceful and safe
9. Avoid displaying your tantrums in front of the children
10. Have quiet times for your children
11. Try “No TV” for a week. Read and play instead
12. Monitor what your children are watching on TV
13. Create a quiet pod, a place where each of you can take time out to reflect and be quiet
15. Eat dinner together at least a few times a week, if you not able to do so everyday
16. Don’t discuss work stress in front of your children
17. Don’t complain/gossip in front of your children
18. Play team-building games together
19. Respect each other’s alone time
20. Listen to your children even when it doesn’t always sound interesting
21. Allow your children to express their creativity in the home; hang up their art or allow them to decorate a space
22. Listen to them when they complain and help them deal with new emotions that may surface
23. Be selective of who you invite into your home; remember that this is your sacred space
24. Notice your children, let them know that you see them. Even though they are young, they have an opinion because their they are important to you.
25. Value their opinion
26. Correct them by using kind words
27. Avoid personal insults when correcting bad behaviour like, “Why are you so stupid, why did you hit your sister?”
28. Respect each other’s space.
29. Your babysitter needs to understand your peaceful lifestyle journey
30. Your focus is your children. Whatever chores you couldn’t complete today, you will have time tomorrow. Don’t let this anxiety disturb the peace.