Creating a safe home has to be a collaborative effort. From that comes a living space that supports the proper emotional and social development of children. A safe home is also a foundation for a strong community, teaching children to shore up the kind of home and community that they themselves grew up in. Many children go on to cultivate the type of environments they grew up in.
Most importantly, our children cannot simply be safe. They must feel safe. Regardless of the dangers outside, there should be no feeling of physical threat, verbal threat or threat of injury within the home. Both children and adults that live under such conditions tend to be emotionally and socially handicapped, often unable to handle relationships. Our children must be nurtured to feel a sense of unparalleled safety in their homes.
A solid way to build a safe home is through the interpersonal relationships between children and adults that live in the home. Healthy and positive interaction enhances a sense of comfort for everyone, especially the children who are dependent on adults for their care. At school, children that feel safe are reportedly less likely to abuse substances and engage in sexual activity. They have a higher level of emotional well-being.
Another vital component to creating a safe home is the collaboration between families and schools. It is imperative that educators and parents be on the same page with children, building a secure environment that’s an extension of the home. This includes involving families in school functions, events and activities, developing strong links in the community between the education system, children and neighboring families. Positive relationships between parents, teachers, other school personnel and students also emphasize community and safety.
By promoting good character and citizenship, schools encourage characteristics that children will share with each other, other adults, and finally, in the home. Under the proper tutelage, children grow, identifying problems and solving them productively. They learn to discuss issues openly, which leads to a system of trust and safety. These ideals stay with children, taking them into new homes, new communities and the workplace.
Even with third party assistance, the majority of work for creating a safe home falls on the guardian. It’s up to them to plant the seeds of comfort within their children. There will be several factors to take into account in this regard. Communication tops the list, not surprisingly. Can the parent say their child is comfortable enough to talk about safety issues and other matters with the understanding that the parent or guardian actually listens? Are the adults in the household exhibiting the type of responsible behavior that the child should be emulating? The parents’ behavior is probably the most critical influence on children not only having a sense of safety, but enabling children to be emotionally, socially and ethically sound.
A safe home leads to children growing into stable adulthood. These adults feel a connection and responsibility to their communities. Parents (and educators) need to take a seat front and center, collaborating and designing strategies and activities that proactively give children that needed sense of freedom from threat outside the home.