A family household that feels most like home is one where respect, civility, and kindness reside. It is the springboard for positive relationships with family members, friends, and even yourself.
When you create this type of environment, you provide a place of comfort for anyone who enters. And you are giving your children a foundation of admirable habits they will use to inspire and uplift everyone they encounter.
The most important characteristic in any harmonious family household is respect. This includes respect for the personal space of others, everyone's belongings, and also for your home itself.
When you knock before opening the closed door of a room, you show people you respect the space they occupy. Personal space is important to each of us. And, once in a while, we need to feel we can have it all to ourselves. Especially after a busy and stressful day.
Give a little knock on the door and ask if you can come in or, "Do you have a moment?" before you enter a room.
Respect your belongings and those of your family members by using and storing them appropriately. Return borrowed items in the same condition you borrowed them (you did ask permission to borrow, right?).
Picking up after yourself is a good way to show respect for your home.
Hang or fold your clothes and put them away. Keep furniture and appliances clean. Properly use and store your computer and other electronic items. You might even make your bed!
No, it's not about being a neat freak. It's about keeping things in good working condition, and respecting your surroundings.
When you show respect, you get respect.
Any family household that teaches and practices civil courtesies produces confident and kind individuals. The most basic of these courtesies is simply using "please" and "thank you" at every opportunity.
Being present with your family lets them know how important they are. Rather than simply being in the same room, turn off the television, put down your smartphone, remove the ear buds, and spend quality time with each other. Have a conversation and truly listen with acceptance and an open mind to what is said. This is the best way to get to know your family members as individuals.
Keep everyone included. Make eye contact when you speak, and introduce your family to guests who visit your home. Share a meal as often as you can, encouraging everyone present to participate and make conversation.
Shower your family with kindness. Celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, and any other occasion to the degree that you can. What matters is that your family know you care about the milestones and achievements they reach.
Some time ago, I heard someone suggest that we treat each family member as if they were a guest in our home. Imagine if everyone in your family household treated each other as guests.
There would be a consistent showing of care and concern, courteous interactions, and each person mindful of the comfort of others.
Sounds like a great place to live, doesn't it?
Home is where you practice the social skills that you take out into the world. Encourage respect, civility, and kindness in your household. Not only will you create a comfortable, happy home, you will also create confident, cordial human beings who have much to contribute to everyone they meet.