Gary's blog for couples and parents plus resources for individuals, leaders and churches.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Tips For Keeping Your Home SAFE

I originally named my blog Safe At Home for a reason. Sure, it's a clever (at least I think so!) play on words with a baseball analogy. But more importantly I've worked with families long enough to know that many homes simply aren't safe even though the people in it think so.

In recent years homeowners have been told that they should have their dwellings checked for radon gas. Apparently it's an unseen substance that can leak into a home and be deadly. The same is true for carbon monoxide. It's possible to be living around a deadly gas and not know it.

In the same ways, many homes have some destructive "gases" spreading through their families and the people who live there are unaware of the damage they are doing.

Let me suggest a couple of tips for keeping your home a safer place from those toxic elements.

First, ban destructive words. That's right. Have a family meeting tonight and say in front of your kids that you will end the use of words that are unfair, harsh and needlessly hurtful. Tell them that you will model, even when you need to be stern and firm, how to speak fairly, without yelling and to the point. Admit it if you need to change some things. But then require everyone in the house to do the same. You may need to have a point system, money jar or whatever to help this happen but do it.

Second, show every person that their comments, questions and opinions matter. Husbands and wives every day in certain homes tell each other how incompetent they are or suggest that their input into the discussion is unimportant. Children are told or it is implied that certain topics are off limits and that their comments don't ever matter when it comes to decisions made in the home or their feelings about life. Instead, listen well, invite comments when spoke appropriately and let your family know that their honest expressions don't ruffle you.

Third, keep rules and guidelines clear, fair and constant. No one likes to live in a home where what is right one day is wrong the next and vice versa. Few can tolerate being trusted one day and not the next when one's behaviors and attitudes have been consistent. If we're always moving the goal lines and boundaries on our discipline how will our children ever know what or how to obey?

Safety is not only a set of guidelines, it's also a state of mind and an atmosphere that a home must have to truly be a place our families look forward to return to each day. Who's guarding the safety in your home and have you evaluated your safety standards lately?
Gary Sinclair Writer | Speaker | Leader

Gary is currently a consultant, teacher, speaker and chaplain providing resources for families, leaders and churches.

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