Wednesday, November 24, 2010

home is where the heart is.

Kids today have it really tough. Moms need to know that.

I don't believe there has ever been a time in history that the stress on their emotions (and ours) has been so difficult. Back in the day there was much more physical hard work that not only kept kids busy, but it was a way to cleanse their minds and lessen stress. We're wired to work and there is a reason for it. There is a feeling of fulfillment when we work. Kids today do not work. They have too much time on their hands. If they are not busy, the old adage "idle hands are the devil's workshop" applies.

Left to themselves, kids will find something to do and it often results in television and computer time which results in excess. There's an imbalance created when they are routinely fed by reality television,  defining who they are and their world view. Attitudes are imitated and brought into relationships resulting in over-the-top drama and stress.

Additionally,  the time spent on social networking, texting, instant chat/message, Facebook, Twitter ... hours and hours even into the wee hours of the morning sets them up for more imbalance.

Moms are managers of their homes and if you don't manage (not micro-manage) your kids' life they will certainly have unnecessary stress as they deal with the fall-out of excess. They are not equipped to do this alone. If mom is off doing her own thing, they are going to be left to figure it out alone. Many do not and I think it contributes to addictive behaviors, self injury, and suicide because of the rejection, bullying, and cruelty (which has been around since the beginning of time) is occurring more hours per day. That, along with more opportunities to compete in areas of appearance with the ease of digital photography and up-to-the-minute status updates exposes kids to more than kids have ever had to deal with. Without assistance, without guidance, kids left to their own will most likely not choose what is best for them.

Yet, it's not just setting boundaries. It's creating a home that is a refuge. This takes work. It doesn't just happen. It is forgoing your personal time. Yes, there is sacrifice involved and you've got it in you. I sincerely believe that kids need a safe place and what better than their home? And mom will have her eye on things, noting when something is amiss. You know your kids better than anyone. Some wear their hearts on their sleeve; others have to be drawn out. Either way, a home that is restful with a caring mother is more apt to help rather than hinder. Even if it's a strained relationship at times, the assurance of your ongoing presence in their lives is more important than they fully realize.

No one is going to notice the tear in your daughter's eye that she quickly wiped away, or the irritability that your son has lately, like you. And you have the goods to help. Even if we don't have the right words to say, our existence in the home provides stability to the instability caused by the stressful world we live in.

We all need peace from the noise. You don't have to have a perfectly run home. No one does. You just have to have a home that provides a refuge. The right words are not always going to be spoken. No every conflict will be resolved. But living in a peaceful home creates safety from the storms of life. Even if those storms are in your home at times, you can still create a refuge by setting the tone of caring, understanding, helping, and unconditional love.

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