Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Home Can Be a Place of Peace

A few years ago I had two young children and a husband in graduate school. I was tired, I was impatient, prone to raising my voice when my son and daughter didn't treat each other as well as I thought they were capable of, and it was really affecting my relationships with my children and the overall feeling in our home. I was really struggling with my short temper and feeling very guilty about it, but I really didn't know how to fix it, and I doubted if I could fix it. I prayed to know what to do. I wanted so much to be a better example for my children: how could they learn to treat each other kindly if I couldn't be kind to them? 

During this time I read in the Book of Mormon about a leader named Captain Moroni who stepped down after helping his armies fortify and strengthen their cities successfully after many years of war:

“...and there was once more peace established among the people...And Moroni yielded up the command of his armies into the hands of his son, whose name was Moronihah; and he retired to his own house that he might spend the remainder of his days in peace” (Alma 62:42-43, emphasis added).

When I read that verse I had so many questions come to mind: What kind of home was this, that he could feel peace there despite all he had witnessed in battle? What kind of family did he have? What kind of wife and mother would live in a home where he could feel that kind of peace?  How could I be more like her?  How could I make my home a refuge? How could I teach my children to crave that kind of peace also, and teach them that it could be found in our home? 

Seeking answers to these questions and others through fervent prayer and scripture study helped me to see that I had in me the ability to work harder at controlling my temper. I could be better about doing my part as a wife and mother to make our home a place of peace. And so I worked at it, and our home became more peaceful.

Time continues to march on: we have two more children now, and my husband finished graduate school last year. I am finding that a peaceful home is something I have to keep building – it is never really finished but is something that we can continually be refining and polishing. When I am able to do the things that help me feel true peace, such as reading the scriptures and praying as I mentioned here, I am better equipped to teach my children how to leave peaceably with each other.


Stacey is from Columbus, Ohio, where she lives with her husband Jeff and four children. She enjoys singing, reading on her own and with her family, and learning new things. You can read more about her family at http://teamhoopes.blogspot.com


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And please check out the post at Cranial Hiccups today.  There will be a new post about family on both of our blogs each day of the Celebration.

Looking for more ideas to help you change your feelings of anger at home
 into feelings of peace?

Try these suggestions:

1.  Pray for help both with controlling your feelings of frustration/anger and in understanding and fixing situations that cause stress in your home.

2.  Avoid predictable stressful situations (the ones that happen daily) by rearranging your schedule, preparing ahead of time for these moments, or deliberately doing something loving with your children at that time instead.

3.  Give yourself a time out.  If you feel those feelings coming on, take yourself out of the mix.  Pray, read scriptures, call a friend, and then return.

4.  When you are calm, express your feelings to your children/family in a way that helps them understand how you feel and how their actions also contribute (or take away) from a feeling of peace at home.

5.  Think about the words that you use on a daily basis with your family?  Are they loving or not...peaceful or not?  Encouraging or not?

 6.  Be unexpectedly silly with your kids.  Instead of responding to a tantrum with a tantrum, respond with a song or a silly dance or a joke.  Catching children (and yourself) off-guard with silliness helps children react better too.

7.  Find time to exercise and blow off steam.  Both you alone and the family together.

8.  Share the burden of responsibilities, clean-up, etc. with other family members.

9.  If you are having trouble with one child in particular, go out of your way to serve that person.  It will help you to develop charity of that child (or your spouse) and give you a better understanding of what they might go through.

10.  Find ways to fill the empty moments of your family time together with the Holy Spirit.  Listen to uplifting music together and choose good music, books, and media.  Study the gospel together in a fun and engaging way, and as The Family Proclamation says, choose wholesome recreational activities.  As you invite the spirit more and more into your home, there will be less and less opportunities for anger.

7 comments:

  1. This is a great post, Stacey! Thanks for sharing!

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  2. A great post, thank you for sharing!!!

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  3. I needed this today. I can totally relate. I have four children ages 7 and under and my husband just went back to Grad school this Fall to get his PhD. Buying and moving into a new house, finding subsequent household problems like plumbing leaks, plus health issues and such has caused a lot of stress in my life lately. Even though I vowed I would change when we got to our new home I'm sure I've already gained a reputation among my neighbors and I hate being THAT mom. I can also see my kids following my bad example in so many ways. I've often thought though, how can I stop yelling when they absolutely refuse to listen when I don't? Parenting is so hard!
    In the scriptures it says to reprove betimes with sharpness (not shrillness) showing forth greater love afterwards, and it was recently pointed out to me that sharpness could mean clarity. That maybe I just need to take the time to talk to my kids and explain exactly what I expect of them and why we don't do certain things rather than just yelling at them when they're doing something wrong. Oh yeah, and don't forget showing more love afterwards. I also need to remember to humble myself and ask their forgiveness when I act in ways that are wrong too, showing them that I'm not perfect either but I am trying everyday. Thanks for the reminder and the great suggestions of how to cope.

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    Replies
    1. You're normal! :) Chin up, girl! :) And keep moving forward!!!

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  4. I agree that being silly with your kids goes a long way. That was one of my most effective tools!

    =)

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