Developing a Peaceful Home.
By Paula Randant
What is a peaceful home environment? I’m sure different families would have a variety of definitions. I am going to attempt to establish a definition here so you know what we are trying to achieve. A peaceful home starts the day with a gentle beginning. Alarm clocks are good. Gentle personal waking is ok. Gentle waking would be opening doors to let other household sounds and light in, maybe a “wake up sleepy head kiss or touch”, snooze alarms with music are good. Things to avoid to start a day off well, turning on bright lights when still sleeping, dumping someone out of bed, yelling, name calling, raised voices, cold water or any other abrasive action. Structure is important. Make a schedule for each family member. If they are adults let them take care of themselves. Under 18 years of age a schedule and structure is effective. On school or work days have a morning routine that includes time for wake up, dressing, breakfast, finishing homework, putting on coat and leaving on time without hurrying. A peaceful home supports family members at school or work with good wishes, help in organizing, lunch and snacks ready to go. On time transportation and pick up. A peaceful home has an established routine for after school or after work. Children respond to structure which may be just a chart that records the usual routine or scheduled activities such as sports, music lessons, dance lessons, religious education etcetera. Language is a large part of peace in the home and family. Language to avoid when trying to have a peaceful and loving household. There should be no tolerance for swearing, vulgar language, yelling, name calling, put downs, bullying, and physical aggression of any kind. The word of any day should be everyone no matter how young or how old deserves to be treated with respect. Parents who swear or use vulgar language are teaching their children this language and modeling disrespect and verbal abuse. There are so many words in our language that we should never run out of possible word choices to express ourselves. A peaceful dinner or any meal time is very important. When meal times are conflictual or stressful it becomes difficult to eat and digest food. Tone at meal times is important. Letting go of conflict or disagreement at meal times is important. Topics of conflict or that criticize don’t belong at the dinner table. They produce anxiety and stress and interfere with eating and digestion. A peaceful bedtime is also important. It is hard to fall asleep and stay asleep if your stomach is in knots or you’re angry and upset. Bed time rituals are important to produce restful sleep. Warm shower or bath, night time prayers or stories, a night light near by all help to set the stage for restful sleep. Use soft voice tones, stay away from criticism or negative thoughts at bedtime. Sometimes music is helpful to set a restful mood. Peace can be illusive but it does not have to be. If you find yourself angry and unable to be gentle it is time to look at your own demons. Talk to a therapist or trusted friend or pastor for guidance and relief.