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Circle of Safety

My four-and-a-half year old granddaughter was going on a pretend trip with her two-year-old sister on Saturday and I heard her say, "Do you have your mask?". She knows what social distancing is. At the park, she asks if she can play with a new friend. Her parents and others who love her are doing all they can to keep her safe in this time of uncertainty.

Do you wonder what our children will take from this time of unprecedented change? I do. Every day. I have worked for years to support social emotional growth from infancy through early childhood. I know how important a sense of routine and consistency is in order for children to move to other stages of development, to explore and create as their circle of safety gets bigger.

Right now that circle of safety is staying smaller for many children. We want them to be out of harm's way from a disease that no one has a lot of answers for, even still. We are only a few months into what seems to be growing again and that means more uncertainty, again.

I believe that our children will be strong if we are all strong around them. If the circle we build around them has continued family and community rituals, though they may look different now than a year ago. If the circle has continuity in relationships even when they are not face to face. If the circle has stories that are familiar and repeated to children, giving them a place of safety and security. We cannot know the future but we can make sure that we have a powerful impact on the outcomes of our children from what we do for them, today.

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