Home as a Haven for Good Habits

There’s so much we want for our families: good health, great minds, strong faith, and more. While we can’t control everything they’re exposed to in the world around them, we can make our homes a haven for the things we value. By creating the right kind of environment on the home front, we can set our kids up to succeed.

1. Nutrition. The busy schedules we keep can sometimes trap us in bad food choices—for ourselves and our kids. But by doing some planning and smart shopping, you can surround your family with better meal and snack options. One major principle: win the battle at the grocery store. If junk food never comes into your home, it can’t be eaten. Fill up the pantry and fridge with nutritious snacks (think yogurt, cheese, nuts, fruit, granola, air-popped popcorn, etc.) and your kids will always be reaching for something better!

2. Exercise. Bottom line: active parents have active kids. Do you plop down on the sofa at the end of the day, do you invite the kids into the yard for a few minutes of whiffle ball, or do you grab the leash and take the dog for a walk? Staying active isn’t just a matter of bettering your own health, it’s training your kids toward a healthier lifestyle.

3. Media Consumption. If you spend most of your down time watching TV, surfing the internet, or staring at your smartphone screen, expect your children to live the same way. Why not clear the dishes after dinner and play a board game or work on a puzzle. Take a family trip to the local library and let everyone pick out a good book (you can even find a great classic to read aloud together!). Or try one of the active options mentioned above. Set a good example by turning off the TV after the show you meant to watch is over (we’re looking at you, cable news channel addicts). You may be amazed to realize how relaxing home can be when it’s not bathed in the noise of constant TV.

4. Faith. Adopting a life of faith-building habits is one of those things which are probably “caught” as much as it’s “taught.” Do your kids see you taking time out of your day for Bible study and prayer? Do you encourage them to do the same? Maybe a family devotional series could help you all get on track with growing your faith together. Prioritize seeking God together by attending church and studying together. Making your home a place where God is talked about and pursued will train your children to view faith as an essential part of life.

5. Neatness and Organization. Training your children to be neat and organized means bringing them up in a neat, orderly environment and training them to maintain it. By getting your own act together with home organization and cleaning, you can better train the kids to pitch in and make the system work, ultimately enabling them to set up their own well-run homes one day.