Parents and children both seem to be on a treadmill of rushing from one thing to another. The feeling at home, too often, is one of "Hurry up, we've got to go!" Or "Stop wasting time and get your chores done." Where is the time to have peaceful moments of relaxation and family time without an agenda?
An inspired spiritual leader, Richard G. Scott, said, "Many voices from the world in which we live tell us we should live at a frantic pace. There is always more to do and more to accomplish. Yet deep inside each of us is a need to have a place of refuge where peace and serenity prevail, a place where we can reset, and regroup, re-energize to prepare for future pressures. The ideal place for that peace is within the walls of our own homes." Here are some ideas to help make this happen in your home.
1. Nourish yourself
If you allow yourself to have some alone time that is just for you, you will be better able to bring peace into your home. Some rise a little earlier than the rest of the family and take the time to pray, read a few scripture passages, and just relax before the "have to's" begin. Or the best time for you may be just before bed after the kids are asleep. When was the last time you read a favorite book? Or took a 10-minute nap in the middle of the day just to be refreshed? Pick something that fits you and do it. You can be the beginning of bringing calm and peace into your home.
2. Keep a reasonable schedule for your children
Too often kids are over-booked with activities. A little time without anything scheduled can bring a great deal of peace to a child. They need time to be away from school work, from team sports, from endless activities. They need play time. This is when they can feel peaceful at home doing whatever they enjoy. It's a time to daydream. A little daydreaming can be healthy for kids.
3. Keep your voice calm
Yelling is the symbol of chaos, which is the opposite of peace. Sometimes when parents get frustrated and feel the kids are out of control, they turn to yelling their commands. This only causes more chaos. Keep a soft voice. If a child isn't listening, then go to him and gently take his face in your hands and whisper your message. Children hear a whisper much more readily than a yelling voice. These words from Proverbs are worth remembering: "A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger." (Proverbs 15:1)
4. Plan for times of peace and quiet
A mother shared with us how she picks a time during the day when everyone goes to their room and has some alone time. If children share a room, they can also share this time for quiet. It's good for children to learn to be quiet and peaceful. She says that during this time they can read, draw, play a quiet board game, or take a nap. The only rule is that they are quiet and peaceful during this 30-minute respite. She said this has been a boon to giving herself moments of peace and calm, as well as the kids.
5. Play calming music
When soft, soothing music is playing throughout the home, it brings a feeling of calm. Some parents have claimed that at first when they began playing soft classical music their children complained about not liking that type of music. She calmly said, "That's OK. You don't have to like it." And she kept playing it. After a time, her children began to enjoy it. We tend to like what we're used to. It doesn't have to be classical music, just music that brings a feeling of calm as opposed to load raucous music. That still allows for children to enjoy their own style of music at other times.
It's up to the parents
Creating an atmosphere of calm and serenity is up to the parents. It might work well if you had a time when you talked with your family about the need to create a calm home and ask for their suggestions. They will more likely join in the effort.