All children need to have a safe and calm home environment where they feel accepted, loved, and cared for. As parents we are responsible for providing a home environment which does more than meet our child’s need for food and shelter. It must be physically and emotionally safe, supportive, and welcoming.
A child is best able to achieve their fullest potential when all their needs are met, whether they are in childcare, at school or at home. There are many things we can put into place at home to achieve this, five of which we would love to share with you.
5 Ways to Achieve a Safe and Calm Home Environment
As adults, we know ourselves that we function at our optimum levels when we feel comfortable, accepted and safe. It is the same for our children. There are five simple things we can do to help our children experience this at home:
- Be your child’s calm – as an adult, we have choices about how we respond to things, even when we are upset. Young children are unable to make such a choice as emotions can easily overwhelm them. By becoming their anchor in the storm, we can help them to gain control of their emotions once more.
- Teach through your actions and words – children are always learning, and as parents, it is important that we realise that they do so in many ways. It is not only the things we say that grow their understandings of the world, but also what we do. As a positive role model, it is important that your words match your actions, helping grow trust and respect between your child and yourself.
- Be consistent – routines and consistency are important for children and adults alike. When a child understands what is expected of them, good behaviour is more likely to become commonplace. It doesn’t mean they won’t push the boundaries, but rather that they have a sense of security in knowing what they can and cannot do. Routines also help a child feel at ease. This can be as simple as having a set time for bed, during which there is a bath and story before lights out.
- Complete regular home safety checks – get down to the level of your child and look around your home for items that could cause them harm. Dangling cords, drawers and cupboards that can be opened, electrical sockets and access to water are all hazards that must be remedied.
- Play together – play is not only how children learn best, but also how they can express themselves. Playing with your child and showing interest in both them and the things they do is incredibly beneficial to their emotional well-being. Reading aloud each day is also a great activity, helping grow your child’s vocabulary, patterns of speech and imagination, as well as fostering a love of learning.
The importance of every child having a loving, safe, and calm home environment they can depend upon cannot be overestimated. It’s your responsibility to create and maintain such a home, to help them be the best they can be, both today and in the future!