A Home of Contentment

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A family consisting of two elementary school age boys and their mom and dad are playing monopoly together in their family room.

A shared desire of both adults and children is to reside in a home of contentment. “Home” generally refers to the space used as a residence for one or more humans, especially when referring to a family. “Home” can be an apartment, a rental or a purchased house of one’s own. The core of a home being a place that works to keep its inhabitants safe and sheltered. 

With the physical needs understood, “home” also conjures up emotional descriptions; a safe haven, a comfort zone, a place of respite. The word hygge (pronounced hoo-ga) originates from a Norwegian word to describe “cozy togetherness” or “coziness of the soul”. Hygge aptly expresses the atmosphere and experience of feeling at home. As a parent, you have the ability to create a home of contentment for your children. The following ideas can support you in your efforts to nurture your family’s home environment of contentment.

Cultivate Home as a Sanctuary for Your Child

Just like adults, children are bombarded with stimulation and expectations in the world outside. Cultivating a sanctuary at home offers a place for your child to relax, unwind and feel safe. Home becomes a refuge in which each person feels they belong and are loved for being their true selves. Children need to have this accepting space to understand who they are as they grow and evolve. Home can be the reassuring and safe sanctuary they rely on in their world.

Dinner Time is a Calm Time

As your family gathers at the table near the end of day, create a calm and inviting atmosphere. It will take a joint effort to organize the meal, set the table and arrive promptly when called to dinner. But, with everyone’s help and commitment, this shared downtime is your family’s welcomed reward. 

Light candles for a calming dinner table centerpiece. Keep conversations light-hearted and fun encouraging a natural flow. There are no expectations except that all words are kind, honest and helpful. To get a dinner conversation started, ask your children general open-ended questions. Share a family memory or interesting information about an ancestor. When dinner is finished, everyone helps clean up and pack away. This regular evening routine can be a calm, bonding and treasured family time for all.

A young child sitting on a gray couch next to a window and reading.

Nurture a Love of Books

Our eldest child had and still has an insatiable curiosity. To satisfy this curiosity, she was a book lover from the start reading every book she could get her little hands on. Her enthusiasm and the example she set for her younger siblings nurtured a familial love of books. Support a child’s book curiosity with regular trips to the library. Choose books as gifts for birthdays and other special occasions. Create comfortable, inviting spaces around the house available for quiet reading. This nurtures a home of contentment.

Share your love of books by letting your child see you reading. It sets a powerful example. A worthy desire is for your child to discover the delights of being whisked away to another world by the printed word, to have the opportunity to luxuriate in the possibilities books could suggest. For parents of young children, the Golden Days at Home Preschool Curriculum is based on award-winning picture books. The outstanding lesson plans provide an invaluable resource as you spend deliberate time reading, teaching and enjoying shared experiences to influence a lifetime.

The tender bedtime ritual of Children’s Hour includes story time at the close of day. This nurturing quiet time comfortingly bonds parent and child. To this day, our family library collection remains in tact as favorite childhood picture books and chapter books read during children’s hour, as well as young adult series and classic novels stand as firm friends on shelves, never to be forgotten.

Visit Nature Regularly

A home of contentment is fueled by the influence of nature. Unobstructed windows to view the sky and garden invite spontaneous moments of reflection, even for a young child. In our family, many a toddler through teenager has been pushed in a stroller, sent out to play or invited on a walk outside to calm their agitated spirits. The soothing influence of being outdoors among the trees and birds pacifies the soul.

As a newlywed, a loving mentor shared valuable wisdom with me, “Invite something living into each room of your home.” I took this advice to heart in our first small apartment placing a plant here, a vase of fresh flowers there. I displayed fresh fruit in the kitchen and even tended a goldfish in a bowl by the bathroom sink. These many years later, I still follow this counsel. I have sure knowledge that the magic of nature lightens the heart and nurtures a feeling of contentment. 

A mother with dark eyes and hair is smiling as she holds her dark haired daughter on a gray couch. They are both wearing white shirts and gray striped pants.

Build Parent/Child Relationships

Family relationships are important at every stage of life. Positive family relationships are an essential part of a strong family. They bolster a home of contentment. Family members grow in love, security, communication, teamwork and gain an appreciation for each other. As with every type of connection, investing time and attention builds family relationships and keeps them strong. Adhering to this commitment through the years will bring untold rewards at home.

Choose to be fully present when you are with your child and put away all technology. Regularly share a laugh, be silly, play a game, have spontaneous one-on-one chats and be open to talk about difficult things. Interacting at their level by sitting on the floor nurtures your parent/child relationship. Spend a few minutes with your child before bed. Let them know they are appreciated. Say, “I love you” before tucking your child in. Their heart will swell with contentment.

Savor Simple Rituals

The simple rituals your family practices within the four walls of your home creates a home of contentment. The familiar family rituals of a Saturday morning, a child’s birthday, company coming to visit, or mom or dad walking in the door after work are often unspoken, yet comfortable routines. They are part of your family’s culture. Feel secure in the intimate purpose they serve in a home of contentment. Read our Family Rhythms, Routines and Rituals blogpost to dive deeper into the rich role they play in family life.

Cultivate Calm

Consider the physical surroundings in your home. Life is messy and there will always be a little mess. But there is great relief in a tidy sanctuary. An orderly home can alleviate many stressful moments. Are family members able to find what they need when they need it? My father, who appreciated organization and efficiency, practiced and preached the motto, “A place for everything and everything in its place.” Ingrained in my mind as a young girl, his words still guide me to follow and encourage my family to apply this organizing method at home. 

My father also unknowingly mentored me in the now popular “one-touch” rule. One-touch means that once you have an item in your hand, don’t put it down, put it away. Teaching this clutter-avoidance-habit to your children will not only support your efforts today, but will equip them to manage clutter and invite calm throughout their lives.

Rooms in your home also like to be lived in, to be loved, with a project going on in every corner. An orderly house helps to make day to day living calmer providing space to enjoy spontaneous interaction, individual expression and curiosity. Provide art supplies, musical instruments, educational non-fiction books at children’s fingertips. Doing so satisfies their innate curiosity and desire to learn, all the while feeding a sense of contentment. 

A young family holding hands and walking outside in a field. The mother is dressed in a long red dress with a straw hat. The dad is holding a little baby girl and the toddler and a young boy are leading the group.

A Home of Contentment - It is Worth the Effort

As with cultivating calm and all of the previous suggestions, these changes, additions or tweaks need not be grand, they just need to be intentional. They must align with what works best for your family. Take time to evaluate areas in your family life and home to add to, adjust or abandon enabling your goal of contentment. When each family member looks forward to crossing the threshold of your home assured of being sheltered with warmth, acceptance, and comfort, you have been successful in creating a home of contentment. 

Childhood Gem written in black in on a white background with a gold star to the left.

Tina Davis, a book designer and author, created three charming, colorful books for curious children: See and Sew with introductory projects to sew, Look and Cook for young chefs, Sow and Grow for budding gardeners. Each book is filled with vintage illustrations and step by step directions enabling children to exclaim, “I made it myself!”

*Golden Days at Home is not an affiliate of nor receives compensation for the sale of these books.

Janet Nicole Meyer

Janet Nicole Meyer

The founder and author of Golden Days at Home preschool curriculum savors all opportunities to play and travel with her now grown children. She and her husband hike, bike and enjoy living on a stream in Boulder, Colorado with their elderly English Mastiff, Roxy.

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