3 Ways to Engage Your Kids at Home
As parents we are constantly looking for ways to engage our kids. We are battling a myriad of distractions for our children’s attention. There are some life lessons, valuable activities and important truths we need to impart before they journey their way out of our homes. With screens, devices, games, friends and more we have to be intentional and creative to establish an engaged culture in our homes.
We want a home where our kids are comfortable being themselves, bring their strengths to the benefit of others, help proactively around the house, and are present during times of connection and fun. If we can create a safe and engaging culture at home, we believe home will serve as a haven where our kids feel known, valued, and desired now and for years to come.
Analyn and I have been working towards establishing this sort of home culture for the past ten years. It is a work in progress, but we have seen movement as we learn to recognize and appreciate each of our kids’ strengths and line up our expectations accordingly. Below are three points to consider as you develop your own engaging culture at home.
Creating a culture of engagement starts with the parents. Discover your own “parenting strengths” and bring those to the benefit of the home. Don’t compare yourself with other parents and try to be someone you aren’t. If we can live by this wisdom, our kids have a much better shot of owning their uniqueness and not falling prey to the trap of comparison. We each have value to bring into the home so discover and celebrate it as a family. Set expectations for yourself to engage based on your unique strengths and embrace who you are. Your kids will notice and feel safe to do the same.
Parents are responsible for aligning priorities and clearly communicating expectations for each family member. Describe to your kids what a engaged family culture looks like. Let them in on what you are striving to build and show them how they can be a part of it. Develop school, homework and chore routines that are healthy for your family dynamic and clarify expectations for the kids so they can have “wins” at home. Be committed to consistency as you reiterate expectations for each child. Reset priorities as often as needed. I know it’s exhausting but you will see incremental progress and growth in your kids. Most of all keep casting vision for them. Don’t let them lose sight of what you are building together in your home - a healthy haven where every family member finds purpose, safety and significance.
Parents, place the utmost importance on using the right benchmarks to measure engagement in your home. As often as you remind your kids of the vision for your family culture, measure it. Show them how they are progressing and inspire them with benchmarks. This could be the weekly completion of household chores, participation in family dinners, service to others, or academic or extracurricular performance. As we set benchmarks for our children early on as they get older they become longer chunks of time from which you can measure growth. For example, a monthly recounting of how many times the kids completed their chores, without being asked or the frequency with which we experienced peace and calm in the home. However you choose to measure your effectiveness, let your kids get in the game with you. Celebrate every accomplishment however big or small and watch your home transform through your intentional creative building efforts.
From our house to yours, we wish you continued success and significance as you raise an engaged family!