“Fill your house with stacks of books, in all the crannies and all the nooks.” ― Dr. Seuss
Children thrive in consistency, predictability and follow through. Creating a stable, structured, and supportive home environment is the goal. Stable homes produce successful children.
Safe, stable, nurturing relationships and
environments are essential to prevent
early adversity, including child abuse and
neglect, and to assure that all children
reach their full potential.– The CDC
If you want to raise a child who is caring, organized, goal-oriented, and successful, you must provide a stable environment in which he can experience a childhood filled with both love and bonding experiences. –Dr. Gail Gross, Human Behavior, Parenting, and Education Expert, Speaker, Author. Ph.D., Ed.D., M.Ed.
Dr. Gross provides insight on how parents can focus on providing a stable and supportive home environments. As parents, centering on the child helps promote wellbeing and positive experiences in the child’s life. The CDC states that child abuse and neglect are top public health problems being faced in the United States. Child abuse ranges from physical, emotional, sexual and neglect. Providing a safe, stable, and supportive environment prevents these types of abuse from happening in the home. According to science, children who experience instability in the early years are under stress. When a child experiences stressors relating to poverty, abuse, divorce, or insecurity, he or she produces stress hormone cortisol. This changes the architecture of the child’s brain and affects their impulse control. These same stressors also have a profound effect on a child’s ability to navigate through school successfully and the ability to interact with peers positively. In fact, stress can be a central cause for both emotional and physical illness, impacting your child’s overall health, school attendance and school performance.
What Are Safe, Stable, and Nurturing Relationships?
All definitions are provided by the CDC.
Safety: The extent to which an individual is free from fear and secure from physical or psychological harm within their social, physical, and work environments.
Stability: The degree of predictability and consistency in one’s relationships as well as the social, emotional, and physical environments.
Nurturing: The extent to which parents and children have access to individuals who are able to sensitively and consistently respond to and meet their needs.
The experiences of children are centered around the three elements listed. Moreso, children experience the world through their relationship with nurturing and caring adults. Parents that are looking to strengthen the relationship between themselves and their children are encouraged to focus on understanding, helping, and enjoying them. Parents are also encouraged to devote uninterrupted attention to their children, everyday. This allows for serve and return interactions and for the child share their new ideas, thoughts and feelings. When children experience their feelings being validated, they are more comfortable with sharing with the adults in their life. Children need to know that their parents will respect, accept, and not minimize their feelings. As a result, children are more prone to demonstrate healthy serve and return interactions with their parents.
Raising a Healthy and Happy Child is The Ultimate Goal
“Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one.” — Dr. Seuss
Yes, that’s right. I don’t know one parent that does not want their child to be happy and healthy. This is the ultimate goal for most parents. Many times, parents focus on providing a home and the other elements (nurture and support) are overlooked. Children who consistently receive stability, support and structure are more likely to grow into successful adults. Parents are encouraged to focus on follow through when considering the aspect of consistency. For parents seeking to establish consistency, predictability and follow through, see the definitions of each below:
Consistency means that you respond to your child’s behavior the same way every time no matter what is going on or how you’re feeling. Consistency is doing the same thing every time.
Predictability means your child knows what will happen and how you will respond. Predictability is expecting or knowing what is going to happen.
Following through means that you do what you say you will do in response to your child’s behaviors. This is often called the “say what you mean and mean what you say.”
Parents can create structure and predictability at any age with their children. However, it is advised to start in the early years. Parents can begin with routines for important activities of the day, like meals, bedtime, or in the morning. Structure allows children to feel safe and secure, simply because they know what to expect. Children are able to be within the established rules and routines.
Creating a Positive Home and Positive Atmosphere
Alright, I’m not saying be overly positive. That’s not genuine and your children will be able to tell the difference. However, creating a positive home does allow for genuine and supportive interactions. Parents set the tone. Here are a few tips for parents looking to create a positive home and positive home environment:
Provide Praise and Encouragement
Children need to know when they have done something good! Praise them! Reward their efforts. Balance is needed with providing praise, as children need to feel supported when they struggle. Maintaining positivity is one way to support children during this time.
Instill a Positive Mindset
Build the mindset of your children up through positive affirmations. Children quickly learn “I” statements by doing so. “I CAN”, “I WILL,” “I AM”
Model the Behavior You Would Like to See
Using soft words and demonstrating soft actions demonstrates positive behaviors for your child. Children should not witness harse language and tones as this makes it okay for them to use.
When children see their parents acting in a confident manner, they are likely to pick up the behavior. Parents are also encouraged to support your child’s confidence.