Home is the nicest word there is
8 things that we value and incorporate into our homes
by Matt Higgins, Director of Operations, Hope Children’s Home
I remember as a little boy growing up, one of my mom’s favorite TV shows was Little House on the Prairie. Against our will at the time, she made my brother and me watch every episode!
I remember in the very first episode after the pilot, young Laura Ingalls looks up at her dad and says, “Home is the nicest word there is!”
Looking back now, that show portrayed, in many ways, what a home ought to look like. There are so many things that in today’s busy and over-saturated world, we often miss building into our homes as parents.
Although we live in different times from the Little House on the Prairie days, being intentional about building a home is still just as important.
Abraham Lincoln even said that “the strength of a nation lies in the homes of its people.”
At Hope Children’s Home, we purpose to work hard at building a home for our children that promotes a safe, supportive, and loving environment.
Due to various circumstances, many of our children have never experienced the safety and security that an intentional and structured home provides.
Building such a home is much more than just the physical housing of the home—that’s the easy part.
Building a home that fosters love and security often takes a lot of hard work and intentionality. As one author said, “Home wasn’t built in a day.”
At Hope, here are 8 things that we value and incorporate into our homes for our children that extend beyond the four walls of the house:
1. Positive Communication
Everyone in the house must communicate with each other in a positive and respectful way. This includes listening to one another and expressing feelings in a constructive way.
2. Emotional support
Our cottage parents show empathy, provide comfort and reassurance, and are available to listen when children need to talk.
3. Consistency and stability
Children thrive in an environment that is stable and consistent. We establish routines and boundaries that provide a sense of predictability and structure in their lives.
4. Encouragement and praise
We not only applaud children’s achievements, but we also praise their efforts and progress. This helps each child feel valued and creates a great sense of confidence in themselves.
5. Time and attention
There is no substitute for spending quality time and it is essential in building strong relationships with the children. This means being present and engaged in their lives. We spend time together and one-on-one.
Everyone in the home has responsibilities that help keep the house clean and organized. No matter the age, everyone pulls their weight in helping out.
This is actually one of the core values of our entire organization. We don’t think that life should be boring! We work hard but we play hard too. We might even have more than one moment of just being silly and laughing for no reason at all.
8. And Love
Billy Graham once acknowledged that “nothing can bring a real sense of security into the home except true love.”
Although the children at Hope may not be our biological children and we may not be a family in the traditional sense, we are passionate about creating a home for each child—a home where they feel loved and secure.
We want each child at Hope to look back at their time at Hope as one of their greatest memories as a child and place they can always call “Home.”