Security for Children, Now More than Ever
We are all experiencing anxiety and apprehension as we face the unknown factors in our country because of CoVid19. If you are like me, you wake up each day and turn on the news to see what might have changed overnight.
Change is constant now. What was commonplace a month ago is not today. And while we grapple with the uncertainty, the worry, the fear, we do know one truth which remains and is unchanged. Children need security, consistency and a sense of safety for strong and positive emotional development. The foundation of children's mental health, attachment, relies on a sense of security with a responsive primary caregiver(s). Attachment supports the rest of emotional milestones and strengths like self-awareness, self-efficacy, regulation, and greater skills like tolerance and respect.
So what do we do to provide security and consistency in a very fluid and insecure world right now? We are intentional. We keep routines as much as possible and we talk about the routines and rituals that are familiar. Wear favorite clothes. Sleep with comfort objects. Read favorite stories and sing songs. Stay in touch through phone or Internet with friends and family. Stay connected.
You may be changing a major routine, like child care because a parent is staying home now. Talk about what is the same. Tell your children they are safe. You are there. You aren't going anywhere. Don't assume they know; give them the words.
This is new territory but we fortunately, we do know what young children need from their important primary caregivers. They need to be responded to when they express a need. They need to see a consistent routine in their young lives. They need to feel safe. As much as we all can, let's intentionally work towards that.