How to Promote Emotional Security in Children
Emotional security in your children will be planted, watered, and promoted when you begin communicating to them what's going to happen in their life tomorrow. It's pretty simple, as a practice. You simply recognize that they want, and need, to know what's going to happen next. They will be much more secure, and calm, if they know ahead a ways, what's coming up. Not detailed explanations. Not all the gory details. Just a heads up.
You might be better able to relate if you picture tomorrow your husband comes into the room and says, “Hurry up, let's go. We're going to be late.” And you didn't know you were going anywhere. You were just getting into a project. You were relaxed and enjoying the activity that you were doing.
You wouldn't like it one bit. I feel agitated, just writing it!
This is how we often treat our children, though, and it's not very kind, or respectful of their feelings. It may be the cause of some of the strife and friction in our homes.
Planning and goal-setting are important in life. Training your children to be organized and to plan is important, too
Your children need to know ahead of time what their schedule is going to be for the day. Planning and goal-setting are important in life. Training your children to be organized and to plan is important, too. Today, I want to emphasize the importance of communicating your plans to your children ahead of time and how it will affect the peace of your home and promote emotional security in your children.
Communicating With Your Children
I hope you, Mom, are in the habit of setting goals for your week, and writing them down. And, then writing out your to-do list for the day. A tentative plan for your upcoming week. Now, each evening as you plan for the next day, communicate that plan to your children.
We used to do this as part of our bedtime ritual. With small children, it's very easy, because they'll often ask you, "What are we going to do tomorrow?" It doesn't have to be a detailed or complicated answer. You just need to communicate a general outline of your plan (with a smile). Your children will be much better prepared for the day.
They will feel so much more secure, knowing what is coming up.
For instance, if you know that tomorrow will be a day of running errands, you need to tell your children the night before. “Tomorrow we're going to get up and after breakfast we'll be leaving to run errands. If you want to tell them, or they ask, you can add the destinations, such as, "we're going to go to the grocery store and the library.” This is especially great if they love going to the library, as our children did!
Or, “Tomorrow we are going to visit Grandma. We won't be leaving until after lunch, so the morning will be normal. We'll get up and do our normal routine. And tomorrow night Auntie will be coming to Grandma's and we'll be celebrating her birthday.” You know your children, and how much is appropriate detail to give each of them.
Prepare your children for what is going to happen!
Wendy Gunn 2019
I recommend having a plan for the week, based on the monthly calendar, with all your appointments written on it. Set goals for the month, then break them down into four parts, and divide them into the weeks. Now, you have a tentative plan for the month. Of course, it won't happen as you've written, but you'll accomplish way more than you would've if you hadn't written anything at all.
Now, looking at your calendar the night before, If you see that it's going to be a really busy day tomorrow, please let your children know that in advance. Maybe you're going to be the only one really busy, at home.
You might tell them something like, “Mommy's going to be really busy tomorrow. I have to get a lot of things done around the house. So, I will need you to play quietly with your sister and it will be a really big help to me." If they are old enough to have chores, you can add the specifics, or tell them you'll have a few things written down for them to do. Give them warning!
Remember that they, like you, like to know what is going to happen and don't like sudden changes. You wouldn't like it, and neither do they, to be expected to suddenly jump up and run out the door.
Let's be thoughtful and give our children the same consideration we would desire and communicate our plans to our children. You may be surprised at how much this little practice brings order, and serenity to your home. It will calm certain of your children more than others, and make all of them so much more emotionally secure.
I help Homeschool Moms grow spiritually, have joy in who God uniquely created you to be, change bad habits, and get your home, body and life in shape for God's glory, through my blog, resources, and coaching.
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About the Author
Wendy Gunn helps young Christian moms have clarity and consistency prioritizing God's Unique Goals for their home, family, and life through courses and coaching.