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  • Valerie Bryant

6 Tips to Warm Up Your Place Called "Home"

In The Wiz (a 1978 remake of The Wizard of Oz), lead character Dorothy (Diana Ross) sings these end tune words, expressing her longing to get back home:

When I think of home, I think of a place where there’s love overflowing.

As an adult, I often found myself singing that same tune when I would be making preparations to visit my childhood home and family. Home then was in a quiet rural Michigan community, in the midst of luscious blueberry fields just off the shoreline of a usually placid Lake Michigan. Still, when I was even younger and my family lived amidst the bustling challenging streets of a Chicago ghetto, I remember my home as being that luscious peaceful place that effectively shut out city confusion. Now that I have children of my own, I realize how much of my perspective of my home was shaped by purposeful parents.

My parents, in spite of the circumstances surrounding our home, creatively managed ours as a place of grand affection, acceptance and security. They forbid negative pressures of the windy city to cross the threshold into our home. Naturally, I purposed to similarly fashion a home for my family to also nurture my children for their benefit. Although my husband and I have bloopered at various points of our parenting journey, our imperfections seem to have been largely overlooked by our children. Nevertheless, we delivered our best and invite you to do the same. I pray your children will always regard the many purposeful demonstrations of your love in their lives.

To gain from today's "Take Away", you need to ask yourself how your children will remember life in your home. As a gauge, consider how they might one day finish that same end-tune sentence:

“When I think of home, I think of a place where there’s _______.”

Allow me to share 6 of my own parents's secrets - tips in the form of a “Do” list by which they seemed to daily live. I invite you to incorporate anything from this, for it does matter how well your children experience home, today. It directly relates to their future perspectives on it and you.

1. Do not scold one child in front of another. To do so gives other children ammunition with which to tease.

2. Do not yell. Even under adult tensions of job and negative outside influence, both my parents maintained a healthy level of peaceful communications with us children - never (I honestly don't ever recall them screaming at us over anything) raising their voices at us.

3. Do not give in to lengthy corrective discourse. If Mom or Dad needed to correct us, they did so without ear-numbing lecture.

4. Do regularly play with your children. Their days were long as they both worked outside of the home. My parents never seemed to miss an opportunity to play board and card games with us to engage our minds while also intertwining our hearts with theirs.

5. Do advocate for your children. We could always depend on our parents to “be there” for us. They often stood in the gap, if matters concerning us went awry.

6. Do smile at your children. Some moments of loving never require words when you, as a parent, express acceptance of your child by regularly making it a habit to smile at them.


Incorporate one new tip a week to slowly change old and destructive habits into happy routines as you parent your child. Gradual yet permanent change towards positive should be your goal.

#happyhome, #parenting101, #parenting, #raisingchildren, #happychildren, #homesweethome,

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