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Is Your Home Emotionally Safe?

Creating emotional safety in your home is one of the most important things a parent can do. The best homes are spelled S-A-F-E. And because parents have the first access to the deepest place in a child’s heart, moms are vitally important in the life of our offspring.

girl in pinstriped shirt kissing the woman's forehead

Moms who experience significant emotional pain can become weary of hurting and as a coping device, shut off those torturous emotions. However, as a mom who numbed her feelings, I may have stymied the influence of rejection and abandonment and anger, but emotions are like a bunch of grapes.

To eliminate hurt and sadness is to also cut off joy and happiness, peace and goodness and gentleness. I learned that stuffing vital emotions does not make them disappear. Instead, those unresolved feelings emerge sideways through behavior, depression, and an inability to connect with others.

Emotional Safety in the Home Creates Courage

I realized I wanted to be whole for myself and for my children. Feeling the highs and lows of living life full out, full blast takes courage. We create emotional safety when we feel our emotions, consider what our emotions tell us about what has happened to our heart, and respond in healthy ways.

Sometimes your child will experience emotions she can’t identify. Confusion, anger, and sadness can emerge through behavior. When I was in school there were the good kids and the bad kids. Life experience has taught me that those choosing bad behavior are not bad kids but are young people with large heart hurts.

No matter how old we are, behavior is a symptom of a heart issue. You can help your child understand with statements like these:

“I understand you are feeling hurt and angry right now. Sometimes we may share the same feelings and other times you and I will have different experiences. When one of us is frustrated or sad, another may be happy. However, we will not take out our feelings on others or demand that they change how they feel.”

“I continue to believe that if children are given the necessary tools to succeed, they will succeed beyond their wildest dreams!” ~ David Vitter

Emotional Safety in the Home Fosters Growth

One of the best gifts we give our child is a home that is synonymous with safe. Emotional safety — above any other factor ­­– is the key to raising children who live, love, and lead well. The family is an ideal setting where children learn patience and people skills that last a lifetime.

By extending big and small acts of kindness, respect, and thoughtfulness to one another on a consistent basis during good times and challenging days, family members form relationship glue. Those connections, poignant moments, and laughing-until-milk-comes-out-our-nose form a shared history and confirm that we belong. Together. We are assured:

  • I experience feelings and emotions because I am a whole person.
  • I can control my responses to the emotions I feel.
  • Anger is God’s gift of extra adrenalin I can channel into constructive action to right a wrong.

Relationship glue is the result of emotional health. Relationship glue is the connection and belonging that shows up when my now grown children send group texts referencing memories and movie quotes that only we understand; like a picture of Olympic runners sprinting from the starting line with the caption, “When you say, ‘I’m gonna take a shower and your sibling says, ‘No, I’m gonna shower first.”

“We are a mix of Little Women and The Odd Couple,” said my daughter.

We create nurturing environments conducive for healthy development when the home is synonymous with safe.

“A person’s a person, no matter how small.” ~ Dr. Seuss

Do you feel safe in your home? Do your children?

Resources

10 best Decisions A Single Mom Can Make by PeggySue Wells and Pam Farrel

Nurture the Mental Health of Your Family

Meet PeggySue

We’ve heard of soccer moms and stage mothers. I’m a writer who trailers my kids and horses across the nation. My Apple computer, fondly christened MacBeth, is the essential I bring along.