Publication date September 5, 2023

5 Ways To Create Emotional Safety For Your Kids

Kids seek emotional safety in their formative years and wish to feel seen and heard. Emotionally intelligent kids achieve success in all areas of life and become good individuals of the society. But, all of it begins at home from a very young age and not when we wait for kids to bloom into their adulthood. 

Does your kid come crying and raging often from school vehemently? Crying can be a way to release emotions or reactions to hurt. However if your child can't seem to express the same thing verbally, chances are they don't know how to be emotionally vulnerable. 

One needs emotional vulnerability to be emotionally safe. Emotional safety is also directly linked to happiness, health, and courage of an individual. The child feels emotional safety with parents if they get enough love, attention, care, value and respect for their feelings on time. Anytime this is denied the children feel like they don’t belong in an emotionally safe environment. And a child who feels judged won't be able to open up with anyone. 

Here are some ways you can create emotional safety for your child-

Validate their feelings

Children feel a range of emotions that they don't know how to express. Acknowledging these feelings, big or small, is important as a loving and present parent. No matter what these feelings arose from, holding space without judgment will help the kids to open up instead of bottling up their feelings or hiding it. Validating their feelings will help them in understanding and labeling each emotion. Kids could cry if they are sad, but they could be angry too.  

Don't dismiss their curiosity 

Children are curious heads who probably will keep you scratching your head with their never-ending questions. Never dismiss their questions, if they ask you questions, respect their questions and try to answer as patiently as you can. Don’t get angry at their incessant “whys” and “hows”. Whether they are asking questions to gain your attention or it's purely for the fun of it, it’s only because they look up to you and hope to gain some bonding time with you. 

Teach them about boundaries

The reason why kids have a hard time processing their emotions is because they don't know what boundaries mean. Teach them how to navigate an ugly emotion by setting up a boundary. For instance, instead of saying “You can't do this” change it to “If you do this, you could end up getting hurt”. Now the child knows the consequence of climbing the tree or crossing the road. The change of words creates a mindset shift and changes the way kids associate the emotion behind the words and interpret it the right way. 

Practice healthy coping mechanisms

Let the kids feel all of their emotions freely but don't let them take on nasty behavior. Teach them to self soothe their emotions before it gets bottled up and comes out at inappropriate times. There are multiple ways in which emotions can be managed and strategized. Teach them to label the emotions from the very beginning. Few other coping mechanisms include doing yoga, breathing exercises, creating artwork, playing music, reading books, exercising, etc. Let your kids know that they can seek help instead of suppressing their emotions. 

Accept them when they make mistakes

Acceptance is the highest form of safety and love. When you accept children when they make mistakes and make them feel validated and understood then they feel safe and start to trust you with all things including the emotions that they think they can't speak with anybody else.  Being empathetic in tough situations can help them accept themselves as well as teach them to accept others.  

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