The story is told of the mother who had a picture of a large ship in her living room. She was baffled when her sons went off to sea. A man commented that she had been influencing her sons by having this picture that they looked at every day.
Our homes are places of tremendous influence. They teach our children every day without saying a word! They teach what is important to us and this influences our kids daily.
Is the center of the family room a giant TV? This teaches our kids that media is most important. Is there a big picture of the family? They can see that our family is valued highly.
Knowing this, we can use our homes to teach our children and they won’t even know it! Here’s some ideas for you to consider:
- In most of my siblings’ homes is the scripture, “Choose ye this day whom ye will serve but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” from Joshua which is a family scripture. What is your family scripture or favorite quote?
- Go through your whole house with the eye of a teaching parent. Now don’t go crazy and stick quotes in every room! Be selective. We have pillows with saying, vinyl letting on the wall, framed quotes, you name it! All with the aim of influencing our family in a positive way.
- Another tip is to move things around. If things stay in the same place, they can become wallpaper and the kids tune them out somewhat. So add new pictures, move the pillow. Point things out to the kids and then let them learn.
- Try to spend some time sitting in the various rooms and ask, “What do I feel in this room? What do I find myself thinking of in this room?” Bored? Chaotic? Cluttered? Frustrated? Or Happy? Spiritual? Peaceful? Organized?
- Ponder each room with these questions mind. Then ask, “How could I use this room to teach my children?”
- Bedrooms are particularly powerful. Put pictures of true heroes on their walls. Have them set some goals, frame them and put them on the wall by the foot of the bed so they see them each day. If you are a home of faith, put up religious pictures to inspire. Have them pick out their favorite classic painting and put up a print. Put in words or sayings that are encouraging.
- Entryway - would someone know immediately who you are and what you believe?
- Build resources – have a small library for the children to choose from. Have good DVDs for them to view that will teach them positive things. Go to a teacher’s supply store and stock up on learning supplies, learning charts for their walls, etc.
Our homes can become a wonderful and rich teaching environment. Have fun experimenting with lots of ideas to inspire and influence your children!
Merrilee Boyack received her degree in Business Management at Brigham Young University and her law degree at Santa Clara University. She is married with four sons and has established her own estate planning law practice, working part-time from her home. Merrilee speaks and writes of her experiences, combining humor, memorable stories, and tender emotion. Her first best-selling book, “The Parenting Breakthrough”, contains all the practical advice she has learned through raising her four sons, while “Strangling Your Husband Is NOT an Option” combines her humor with lessons learned in her marriage.
Merrilee speaks to thousands all over the country. She is a very popular speaker at Time Out for Women and BYU’s Education Week and speaks to all kinds of groups. She continues to write – “52 Weeks of Fun Family Service,” “Toss the Guilt and Catch the Joy,” and “In Trying Times Just Keep Trying” which chronicles Merrilee’s experience with breast cancer. Merrilee has added life coaching to her portfolio career and helps clients move forward with their lives.
Boyack has been politically involved and currently serves as a councilmember in the City of Poway. She has created a number of community programs for community leadership development, care for the homeless, and city-wide emergency preparedness.
Merrilee is truly a renaissance woman – wife, mother, grandmother, lawyer, speaker, author, life coach and community leader. She is truly a loving teacher who inspires and motivates others to do good and be good and is committed to the rebirth of others.