How children thrive:
Children thrive in stability and predictability. They cannot find civility in chaos like some of us adults can. So, its up to us parents to give them the sense of security they crave for. It can be a tiny corner at home, on a stage where they perform, or a blank canvas where they can show off the colors in their heart.
A safe space for children is where there’s no pressure to fit in from peers, and there are no disappointments to face of their own expectations. A space space is free of the fear of rejection and judgment.
Environments can nurture and navigate:
Environments in which children grow up can literally mean the difference between flourish or flounder. Irrespective of so many variances real life has, an ideal environment can be the one stable thing that the children should be able to count on.
Change starts at home. Change starts from within and radiates outward – from us, then home and then society. While creating a sanctuary at home of compassion, we have control over the conditions that we create at home.
Homes give us an opportunity to showcase what’s important to us and what our values are as human beings. We can set an intention to create an ideal environment for children to thrive and respect us as care givers.
When we can show times and places in our home when we relax and are open minded, children pick up on our patience for listening. After all, they want to be held to calm their worries down. And that’s how we create a secure space for them, where they don’t have to be afraid to be themselves.
Dinner Time can be a time for togetherness. A time to open up beautiful arguments. To create rituals and celebrate traditions. And to show that its OK to have opinions.
Schools are where most children spend a majority of their waking hours. Schools come with a greater advantage that even many communities cannot readily offer.
They’re places that are immune to the divisive walls of religion, economics and politics. They provide cultural literacy and are prime spots for information and ideation.
Other Important Environments:
Heads: Our heads can be a good place to be in. Teach children the importance of silence and being able to live alone with their thoughts. Teach them how to label their emotions and recognize the physiological impacts of reactions to events on their bodies and mind.
Art galleries: Museums, art galleries and libraries are invaluable resources to teach children the importance of history and readership. Its our chance to empower them with awareness of their lineage.
Books: We read books of great leaders because we cannot be personal friends with them. Books give children the vocabulary to understand life. Books are rich with the experience of different kinds of lives.
Real life: Real life that plays on playgrounds, play dates and sleepovers isn’t built to keep children out of trouble. That’s the only way to prepare for life in high school and beyond. Showering children with attention is different than rescuing their every fall. Paying attention should help pick up on their needs and gifts.
Technology: Whether we like it or not, technology is a part of their personal and cultural identity for Gen Zers and Millennials. Its their source for information and opportunity. Teach children how to be good digital citizens by embracing digital minimalism. Teaching them how to avoid the dangers of technology addiction, online bullying and reputation damage can help children lead safe online and offline lives.
* * *