When house-hunting for a family home, it’s easy to get bogged down with the details of the building. While considerations such as number of bedrooms or access to local amenities are always important, at the heart of all house-hunting is the question: can this house become our home – a home the whole family will love to live in, grow up in, and return to someday?
Answering this question involves a lot more than just the bricks and mortar of the property – it’s also about how you make it a family home that your children will always want to come back to, through life’s successes and failures, girlfriends, boyfriends, old friends, new friends and everything in between.
Here’s how you can create a warm, loving and welcoming home for your family in Malta – and turn your new house, into your children’s forever home.
Stop, Look and Listen
Every parent of a teenager will have, at some point, wondered why their teen refuses to talk to them. And, possibly, why their toddler won’t stop their running commentary regarding every detail of their life. But how does a talkative child become a silent teen? Parenting experts say it could be down to the household dynamic, and how well parents listen to both their tweens and their teens.
Leading the typically busy life of a parent in Malta today, it can be hard to focus as your chatty five-year-old recounts his day in minute detail. But, tempting as it may be to tune out: don’t. Just 10 years later, your 15- year-old will know from experience that you will make time to listen, no matter what’s on his mind.
Apply at home: Add some comfortable seating to an area away from all screens and distractions, to set the scene for a quiet chat or catch-up.
Routine vs Spontaneity
Who doesn’t love surprises? It’s when surprises become a constant part of family life that they can inspire more chaos than fun. On the flipside, making life one big, predictable, inflexible routine is no fun either, for anyone.
A happy home life usually finds a gentle balance, with enough structure each day to get everyone where they’re supposed to be, but with a little flexibility for those unexpected, unplanned moments – which usually turn into some of the most priceless family memories.
Apply at home: A large calendar, with columns for each family member, displayed in a high traffic area of the house, will help keep everyone on track and may inspire adventure in any mutually-available time.
Make Music Mean Home
It’s likely everyone in your family will have different tastes in music, and each member might listen to their choice in separate parts of the house. Nevertheless, music can also be used to bring that elusive sense of togetherness that happy homes seem to radiate.
What matters here is the music that you listen to at home, as a family. By creating specific playlists that include something for everyone, you have the perfect mood music for the common areas of the house or which may be used on birthdays or occasions. These playlists can then become the soundtrack to life in your home and will later evoke happy memories for your children.
Apply at home: Consider installing Bluetooth speakers in the kitchen, living room or other common areas of the home, to make listening to music together as easy as connecting a mobile.
Open Door Policy
Malta’s small size means your children won’t ever live too far away from their friends, no matter where you live on the island. But how welcome those friends are made to feel in your home will make all the difference to how comfortable your grown-up children will be with popping by themselves later in life.
From baby playdates to teen romances, sometimes you may wish to cut short a friend’s visit to your home if it’s not convenient, or is messy, and complicated. But give your child the space and trust to invite their friends into their safe space known as home, and they will repay that trust back to you, and the home itself.
Apply at home: Set up a space in the living area of the home where your children will love to socialise with their friends, but where you can still keep an eye on them.
Roll with the Trends
Any child’s path towards adulthood normally involves multiple phases in which they will follow certain types of clothing, décor, hair styles or personal style. As a parent, it can take patience and wisdom to know when something is really going to stick and what is just a passing interest.
Allowing each member of the family to embrace their individuality with whatever trends or interests they wish to pursue, reminds them that the home is a safe place in which they can always be themselves.
Apply at home: Make use of soft furnishings and replaceable décor to help you easily update your home interior to reflect each passing trend.
For more help and advice about how to create a home in Malta that fits your family’s lifestyle goals, speak with a member of the RE/MAX Malta team today.