I used to love the summer holidays when I had all day to play with my daughter and do activities together. Don’t get me wrong, I know it was tiring too, but having the quality time together was the thing that mattered most to me.
At school, the children are in an educational environment and following a consistent timetable. It is one that teachers work hard to maintain so children have the best chance to learn and grow. The classrooms are organised in a way that will positively affect their independence, and develop their communication skills and build a daily routine with simple tasks.
If we can reflect at least some of this at home, it will help the children to feel there is a system and some consistency in their home and school lives. What children really need in their environment is safety, love and care to develop self-esteem and positive relationships in the long run.
In this post I will share with you 5 steps to creating the right environment within your family.
“Creating a warm, caring, supportive, encouraging environment is probably the most important thing you can do for your family.”
- Stephen Covey
A child’s self-esteem is linked to their home lives and their peers – the main contributing factor is the environment where the child lives. You cannot control what the child’s peers might say but you have control over how siblings might interact in your own home environment.
The voice you use to speak to your child will become their internal self-talk and carry with them in later life – so please be encouraging, kind and calm if you want to encourage a positive behavior. This does not mean you do not discipline them when it is needed, but the way you do this must be loving, so they understand that you differentiate between their behaviour and their identity.
Your family home should be where your child feels safest and so it should be a constant. You can always strive to be positive and nurturing and with this consistency, your child will feel safe and happy and able to be themselves. A few house rules might help.
Children thrive when they are positively encouraged and praised. Whenever they show positive behaviour, reward them by specifically mentioning what you are rewarding them for. This will encourage them to want to do even more. For example, instead of saying, “That is very good”, be specific and say, “That picture you painted is fantastic – I love the colours you put together and the detail of the flowers – you have artistic talent!”
Be affectionate towards your children – hug them and kiss them and do it regularly. This helps to show them that you care and also helps them to feel more comfortable about expressing their feelings to you when they need to.
Even if they have done something to hurt you, continue showing them affection and remember they are still learning – this gives them the message that you love them unconditionally, even if they have done something wrong, show them that you can repair the issue by talking about it. This allows room for mistakes, and your child learns that they don’t have to be perfect. They will know that they can turn to you for love, advice and strength.
Children pick up on everything – they listen to the words you use, your body language and behaviour, the actions you take and what you wear. Ensure that you are modelling the kind of behaviour you want to see from your children. For example, use positive words to help them build a positive mental attitude and have a body awareness for how you are around your child. Speak to your partner in a kind way so the children learn how to have conversations within the family. If you see a behaviour that concerns you, perhaps see how you might be encouraging this in them without realising.
Make your children feel special every day – help them to understand that their home is a safe space and you as parents are there for them for emotional support. Spend time with them every day together – even if it is just 10 minutes. Spend one on one time with each child to develop those relationships.
By spending time together talking – you can start talking about feelings and emotions to help them understand that if anything bad happens or they are upset, that they can come and talk to you. This will help to create a positive atmosphere at home.
Other ideas for quality family time are reading a story, eating a meal together, go for a walk and chat, play a board game or play with educational toys/ educational games.
Every journey is different and there is no “one size fits all” path to transformation. I want everyone to feel acknowledged and validated, so I always invest the time to understand your unique situation, to build trust and create a safe space for us to successfully work together.
Together we will build a trusting relationship and create a safe space for your child to make sense of sad, angry, painful, and confusing feelings and thoughts towards more agreed positive outcomes.
Asking for help is not a weakness! We all encounter difficult times at some point in our lives due to societal norms, our culture, upbringing, and our own expectations. Talking to a trained professional will make a huge difference to your health, happiness, and productivity. I offer psychotherapy treatment for people of all ages, gender, and backgrounds.
When someone in the family has a mental health problem or illness, it affects the entire family’s dynamics and behaviours and sometimes parents and other family members don’t really know how to support them…or themselves. Can you relate? A happy and connected family is possible and I can help you to bridge the gap from frustration to fun.
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