My Safe Five
How can I know if my child feels safe with me and trusts me?
An activity I did with my students in the classroom to ensure they feel safe with me and in their surroundings was ‘My Safe 5’.
I first showed them an Australian short film produced in South Australia called ‘Super Sounds’. This short film has so much to teach children in just a few words.
It tells the story of a young, disabled boy with superhero aspirations who meets a curious young girl. Afraid she’ll see him for who he is, the boy does his best to avoid her at all costs, escaping into his imagination.
Seeing beyond this, the girl, who has her own quirks, tries to reach out. Events come crashing to a head and in the end, the boy is given the chance to act like the superhero he dreams of being.
It teaches children we are all different and we should not shy away. It also teaches children that if you are troubled by something, you should ask for help or take a hand that reaches out/is there.
After watching the short film, I had a discussion with my students on what and how they saw and felt about that short film. We then spoke about it and heard everyone’s similar emotions towards it and some even felt they were that child in that video.
After the discussion, I then posed this question to them ‘If you feel upset, scared or if someone is not treating you the right way… What can you do? Who can you go to?’.
This then lead to my activity whereby my students had to trace out their hand after-which, on each finger, they had to write the name and draw the person they know they can, should and would turn to if they needed help. This made the children think deep and hard as some prompts were given along the way.
Why is it important to be present and reassure/reaffirm to children you are there for them?
Being present with and for your children amidst all the hassle and bustle is one of the most important and precious gifts you can gift them. When we are present for children it gives them both reassurance and affirmation that you are there for them and that they can count on you, which also strengthens their relationship with you.
This is very vital as children start growing up and face different phases in their lives. They may go through some challenging situations and may keep it within themselves. However, that is not a healthy cycle to follow through and it should be broken before it gets too late.
As such, building a relationship of trust and confidence with your child is very important.
How can this be done?
Set aside time for talking and listening to each other. When you are having a meal at the end of the day as a family, encourage/start a conversation.
Remove other distractions so that your child knows that you are completely focused on the interaction or conversation.
Make it a point to talk about everyday things that you go through the day so that they can see and potentially follow the same.
Talk about the different feelings, this will also help the development of the ‘feelings vocabulary’ as well and how they can manage emotions.
Try and understand your child’s body language, when they are quiet-does that mean something?
After all, you don’t have to be perfect to be amazing. Sometimes you just have to be around because that is all they need and want.
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