In our final post on adding in Positive Childhood Experiences, we are going to focus on the culminating recommendation - feeling safe and protected by an adult in your home. This PCE can really take on many forms and can include ensuring emotional and physical safety. This particular PCE was saved for last as the implementation and practice of the other six PCEs we have discussed will invariably lead to a feeling of safety in the home.
Feelings of safety and stability can stem from knowing what to expect. Children and teens feel that their environment is safe when chaos and interruptions are kept to a minimum. (We all know life happens but taking time to work towards predictability is helpful.)
For scheduling purposes knowing what to expect can look like:
Visual reminders of schedules posted so children know what is coming each day
Shared family calendars
Use of family reminders on Alexa/Google Calendars
Consistent routines in the am/pm (bed times, alarms, expectations for homework time, etc)
Posting routines so children/teens can see and refer back to them
Feelings of safety in the home regarding scheduling routines can also be increased by creating these routines together. Promote your child’s autonomy by allowing them to participate in setting routines and deciding how to utilize them (paper calendar, phone apps, etc)
For emotional purposes, knowing what to expect can look like:
Understanding expectations in the home. Having consistent expectations and consistent logical consequences helps your child know what to expect and can increase feelings of stability.
Creating a sense of emotional safety is a byproduct of all of the other PCEs we’ve discussed with an emphasis on validation. Teens and children will feel increased safety when they can expect to be consistently validated and supported.
Emotional safety is also increased through modeling. Model vulnerability in the home by sharing the feelings you experience, and talk about how you meet your own emotional needs. As this skill is modeled, teens and children will understand expressing feelings and meeting personal needs is expected in the home.
The goal of this series was to provide you with a positive perspective on parenting. Instead of focusing on all the things we need to avoid, the goal is to focus on the daily things we can embrace in order to promote wellness in our children and teens.
If you have questions or would like to schedule a free fifteen-minute consultation to discuss any of these strategies, please reach out to KS Services at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are more than happy to partner with you on your parenting journey.
Resident in Counseling