Flourishing Families is not just the events we host across our two Primary Schools at Rehoboth. It is something that we want and should make our personal goal for our families. It’s lovely to meet together over a cuppa, get to know more parents, encourage one another, etc., but the real work starts at home.
Due to Covid restrictions, we haven’t been able to meet together, but we can still remind ourselves of ways that we can help our families flourish. I asked some of our staff what they thought we should do to help our families flourish. Below are ten ideas, in no particular order, that we can aim to implement or improve on in our families, one step at a time:
1. Gospel Centred
Family devotions and prayers are wonderful opportunities for family to gather and seek God together. These family times make room for honest questions children may have about the Bible and about life. As parents, we can show grace and patience in teaching our children the Word and answering their questions. Let’s continue to point our children to Jesus every day.
2. Nurturing Family Atmosphere
Our houses are homes, not hotels. Our homes should be characterised by warmth, grace, safety, support, respect, care, connectedness, comfort, optimism, playfulness, love and service. We have a responsibility to nurture and protect our children from the outside world and the online world.
3. Good Communication
Communication is something we can all improve in. We need to model and teach good communication to our children. This includes problem-solving, conflict resolution and brainstorming. Remember to pick your “battles” and choose your times well. Car rides on the way to school are not always the best time for big conversations.
Phil 2:5-11 says, “Christ emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.” Further in Phil 2:3, we have been commanded to count others more significant than ourselves. As we look towards Christ, our perfect example of a humble servant, and as we follow His commands, may we teach our children to consider others and those in the community. Let’s get to know our neighbours, be integrated and involved in a church community, and connect with them.
5. Individual Growth
Encourage independence vs dependent mode – both in a healthy balance. Resilient children understand the importance of having both modes available, depending on which is more appropriate at the time. When we look at growth we look at physical, emotional, spiritual, social and academic growth so that our children are well-balanced individuals.
6. Family Structure
In a household, a clear set of house rules needs to be instructed in order for good discipline and nurturing for the child. For example, we always aim to honour each other in all things, starting with mum and dad honouring each other. We can talk about certain rules with our older children and be flexible to grow with our children in changing some rules as they grow older.
7. Family Mealtimes
Sitting together around a table is a great time to check in on each other, do devotions together and pray together. Make sure everyone gets a chance to share something and keep it light.
8. Everyone Has A Voice
Teach our children to express their opinions respectfully. Make sure they feel heard. Ask their opinion about things. You might be surprised at their ideas and be able to incorporate it into your ideas.
9. Family Traditions and Fun Activities
Make time to have fun in our busy schedules. Whether it is kicking a ball at the park, bike rides, bush walks or just a quick 80c ice cream. Build traditions around birthdays, weekends and special days. Make memories and make family a place our children want to be, and they want to invite others to join.
10. Discover, Develop and Celebrate Gifts
Celebrate the small things. God has created us all so unique, so let’s not just encourage progress but also celebrate it. We measure each person to themselves and celebrate personal progress.