Do you want to create beautiful spaces that ring with order?
Of course we all understand, or at least are trying to understand, that order is coming and going every moment of every day. And surely, there is a large difference between chaos that is deep and wide and that temporary disorder that is a necessary part of creating, cooking, cleaning, crafting or the like.
Whatever your current state is now, I’d encourage you to work on your personal boundaries along with the cleaning and sorting and scrubbing.
Your boundaries will help your family to know what is permissible and what isn’t. Like is it ok to empty the toy closet onto the family room floor while playing with friends, and then leave the mess and go to the friend’s house to play? Maybe the boundary is getting out one toy at a time so that the chaos doesn’t get to the point of becoming overwhelming to put away.
Or, would it be alright to have a water fight in the house? Maybe, if the whole family gets to join in the fight and then also the work of cleaning up!
How about kids cooking in the kitchen? What are the boundaries there? Or making things with paper or building things with legos or doing laundry or bathing the dog or a million other activities that happen in a busy home!
It is my thinking, that you get to decide what the borders and edges look like and what you can expect from everyone living under your roof. And it makes for clarity and comfort and security when everyone knows what the boundaries are.
So, put your pencil to work and jot out a few lines of how you would like things to go, and then share your ideas with your spouse. See if your thoughts make sense to him and if you can both agree on parameters that you can then set out to your kids.
The ultimate rule of boundary setting is this:
You will act with kindness, respect, gentleness all while being firm in your decisions.
It’s your home. It’s your choice. So let it be written, so let it be done.
I believe that children thrive on order and cleanliness, so when you get an area in order, you can let your family know that you will expect their help and efforts to keep the order you have achieved. Spell it out on a piece of paper or a chart so that everyone knows clearly and simply how to fulfill your wishes. But, careful to be kind. Treat them with respect. Be gentle and yet let them know that you are firm in your request.
Creating and keeping order in a family system cannot be accomplished by one person! So it demands that we work on our communication skills, our personal boundaries and our our own confidence!
If it were just about getting busy and rolling up our sleeves and cleaning out closets and drawers, we’d have it made! But it’s not really about that at all, is it?
What ways do you need to step up in your ability to lead? What skills do you need to work on to find greater cooperation from your family members? Though it may now simply feel like pain and frustration to get where you want to go, maybe the truth is that we have a great opportunity to teach and to be tutored by the people we love most.
May your efforts be blessed and multiplied!