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How To Make Your Child Feel Secure
Squirting daddy and himself, what fun.
Did you know that worrying constantly over the security of your child will actually cause them to feel insecure? Feeling secure is far more important than being secure. Openly and constantly commenting about a child's physical security causes the child to be worry. Insecurity is bad and security is good. We secure our car, home and future, why do we not make our children secure also. We are talking about how they feel not how safe they are in our eyes.
Three major factors go into a child's sense of security in the negative; abandonment, physical harm and being overly cautious.
Here are things that do not make a child more or less secure. Model of car. Rent or own. Size of home. Amount of toys. Parents prestige at work.
Here are things that positively effect a child's sense of security. Routines. Two parents. Family. Peacefulness. Consistent appropriate discipline. Regular meals. Moderate spirituality. Fun.
Freedom to explore a new and exciting world.
Play in the rain and celebrate the sun when it comes.
Sometimes breaking the rules means breaking the mold in a good way.
Anxiety over being left alone is a huge factor in a young child's life. Some parents will actually say to a child "if you do not ....... I will just leave you here and go to the store". Seems like an innocuous threat but it is devastating and very harmful. And it might be okay at twelve years old. But to say it to a 4 year old is to say. If you do not act a certain way I will leave you. Can you imagine. There are whole books written on the subject of dealing with a child's fears when parents must be away for a bit. It is hard for little ones to grasp that the parent will be back in a short while. If you do not believe this ask parents when both of them leave to go out on a date and leave the child with a babysitter for the first time -- yikes. (actually a good way to avoid a problem here is to have the babysitter come babysit while you are there and just get away from the child for as long as works so that the child is at least comfy with the sitter and gets you not being around plus you can do stuff you cannot normally get done)
Never ever threaten a child with leaving them, even for what to you would be brief.
What are you afraid of?
Are you passing your fears onto your child?
Every now and then a child needs a gentle hand on butt spanking. Every now and then a slapped hand enforces a needed safety lesson. Think of the child just learning how to undue their seat belt holding them into their car seat. Probably a good smack to the hand that is offending while issuing a stern warning and explanation is appropriate. (remember this only holds if the child is old enough to appreciate the cause and effect of punishment because of conduct at all -- i.e. verbal skills and comprehension)
But generally speaking a parent is to protect and keep a child from physical harm. Therefor physical harm to a child by a parent must be avoided as acceptable conduct. Imagine the shock of a child when the person responsible for their safety turns on them and causes that very harm. If they cannot rely upon their parent to protect them where do they turn for security? That is a harm that takes years to repair if ever.
But just as important is making your child feel like you have physical danger under control. Constantly nagging or "harping" on unnecessary safety measure creates an insecurity that will last a lifetime. Let us say that a father is arachnophobic and so constantly tells his 4 year old daughter to be careful to watch out for "bad" spiders. Well anyone can see that this will cause the child to be worried about spiders and that creates and anxiety and lack of a feeling of security. How about never letting a child go outside barefoot? What about constantly making them wash their hands for fear of germs. What about "sugar will kill you".
Yes the world is full of danger but if we focus too much on that we become insecure and worry about everything as worrying becomes a habit. And that habit is bad.
Happiness is a plate easiest served by security, or at least the feeling thereof.
Feelings versus Reality
A happy 5 year old does not know about gangs, or infections or vicious dogs. A happy 6 year old does not need to know about perverts, mortgage payments or bee stings. A happy 7 year old does not need to worry about college or even if his team wins or if she will be pretty.
Security is like these great few words: "Everything will be okay, just enjoy the day, that is why I am here". Or a phrase that is like it: "Do not worry -- that is my job you just have fun."
So of course here we are talking about little ones, a whole other set of concerns deals with tweens and teens and twenty somethings. Here we address the 3 to 9 year old's.
Let us wrap this bad boy article up!
Be careful yourself about showing your own anxiety, your child does not need your fears and insecurity. You are thinking only about yourself if you project your fears upon your child. There once was a great mom who was afraid of the dark that is until she had a child that she did not want to be afraid of the dark. So she overcame her fear and did not pass it along. How much more so is it important not to pass along fears of others and of nature?
And remember children can sense fear and anxiety. It is not enough to keep your mouth shut you must also get your own fears in check for everybody.
Fear is not a friend. Fear and insecurity are siblings of disaster for a healthy life. Be well and help your child be well.
These really make a lot of sense. I like the little fences also.
Pass it along, responsibly
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