I didn’t realize what a miracle it is having joyful children until we adopted two little children who didn’t know what joy was. When Casey (two) and Bella (five) came to live with us, they’d been in foster care for more than two years. They’d been moved from home to home. Some of their experiences were positive. Others were not. The first few months we saw a lot of tears, a lot of tantrums, and very erratic behavior.
Thankfully through wonderful therapy, a lot of prayer, and a joyful family they, too, found joy. I asked some of my friends for tips on creating a joyful family, and I added a few of my own.
Here are 14 Ways to Create a Joyful Family
- Model joy. Emphasize service to others as joy-building activities. —Gina
- Show him or her how much he or she is loved. Every day. —Karen B
- Be a joyful parent. —Beki
- Treat those around you the way you want your child to be treated and how you want your child to treat others. —Kristil
- The key to joy is contentment. Teach your child to be grateful and content, and joy will come as an extension of that. Now the fruit of the spirit is love, joy. —Dayna
- Model how to trust God and rejoice… in all circumstances. And make every day FUN! —Karen P
- Be joyful in the really ugly moments of life yourself so you can come out victorious and give God the glory. —Traci
- Find wonder in the everyday world around you and teach them about God. Being happy may be fleeting, but the joy of the Lord is our strength. —Jenny
- Celebrate their uniqueness. —Lisa
- Love them and love your spouse. —Ronica
I love those tips! Here are four more ways to create joy—tips from the Goyer home:
- For our kids, joy came with stability. They knew that we were steadfast in our love and care for them.
- We also didn’t make a big deal out of little issues: Spilt milk? No problem. Loud voices? We can deal with it. As we remained controlled and steady, our kids found joy in realizing that their little mistakes weren’t big deals, and they wouldn’t receive severe punishment.
- We praised more than we punished. When we caught our children being joyful and kind, we’d exclaim over their attitude and deeds. They loved getting praise and wanted it repeated.
- Finally, we turned all our anxiousness and fear to God. When we give him our cares, then we leave more room for joy!
How about you. How do you create a joyful home?