Sunday, February 20, 2011

Is Your Home a Safe Harbor?

I often tell my girls that I want to be their “Safe harbor.” When they are going through struggles and difficulties, I want them to feel safe with me. I want them to feel like home is a haven against the rest of the world. I repeat it to them time and time again because they need the reminder. They need to know that they aren’t alone and they have somewhere where they can be themselves – even if that means acknowledging when they’ve messed up and made a mistake.

I expect a lot out of my children. I believe in them. But at the same time, I want them to know they aren’t going to be perfect and they will fall and mess up. That’s part of growing up, learning, and maturing. It’s part of discovering who you are and who you want to be.

The world is full of criticism. We all get more than our fair share of it. That’s why I don’t want my kids to get it from me too. Sure, I have to apologize sometimes for being harder on them than I ought – I’m human. But I try really hard to relax the pressure they feel on their shoulders of having to “have it all together” all of the time. I know I need more than my fair share of grace and mercy, so I need to be able to extend that my kids’ way as well.

Is your home a safe harbor for your kids? Do they feel like they can tell you things and let you know when they’ve done something they’ve regretted? If not, then maybe it’s time to take a look at your expectations and how you are portrayed in their mind’s eye.

Everyone needs a safe harbor. For me, that harbor is my Lord. And ultimately, I want it to be for my kids too. But when they are growing up and they also need that “tangible” here and now kind of protection – I want to be the one to offer it to them as well. I want them to feel comfortable and free in their own home and with their own family. In fact, I want them to long for it. So, as long as I’m able; this dock will be open to them and will be a safe place to run to.


Jennifer said...

I love's always what I think of when I'm thinking about my children facing this big, dark world. I want them to know that this is "home base"...the place where they can talk to me and their dad about ANYTHING. I tell them all the time. Great post.

Dionna said...

Thank you, Jennifer.

Holly (2 Kids and Tired) said...

The home I grew up in was very much a safe harbor. For me and my sisters and for many of my friends. I used to say that my friends came to see my mom and not me! They knew she loved them, they knew she'd listen. I remember many a friend commenting that there was a tangible feeling in our home that made them feel good.

My goal as a parent has been to create that same safe harbor for my children. Our home seems to be the gathering place in the neighborhood and I love that my boys want to be home, rather than off somewhere else. Sometimes it's chaotic, but my boys know they're loved and they talk to us about all sorts or things. Their friends know they're welcome, too. And by the number of them who end up here each day, something good is happening!

Great post!