5 Steps To Creating The Right Environment Within Your Family
School’s out for summer! Are you ready for six weeks of having the kids at home with you? I used to love the summer holidays when I had all day to play with my daughter and do activities together. Don’t get me wrong, I know it was tiring too, but having the quality time together was the thing that mattered most to me.
At school, the children are in an educational environment and following a consistent timetable. It is one that teachers work hard to maintain so children have the best chance to learn. The classrooms are organised in a way that promotes independence. If we can reflect at least some of this at home, it will help the children to feel there is a system and some consistency in their home and school lives. What children really need in their environment is safety, love and care to develop self-esteem and positive relationships.
In this post I will share with you 5 steps to creating the right environment within your family.
“Creating a warm, caring, supportive, encouraging environment is probably the most important thing you can do for your family.”
1. Be Aware Of Your Words
A child’s self-esteem is linked to their home lives and their peers – the main contributing factor is the environment where the child lives. You cannot control what the child’s peers might say but you have control over how siblings might interact in your own home environment.
The voice you use to speak to your child will become their internal self-talk and carry with them in later life – so please be encouraging, kind and calm. This does not mean you do not discipline them when it is needed, but the way you do this must be loving, so they understand that you differentiate between their behaviour and their identity.
Your family home should be where your child feels safest and so it should be a constant. You can always strive to be positive and nurturing and with this consistency, your child will feel safe and happy and able to be themselves. A few house rules might help.
2. Offer Plenty Of Praise
Children thrive when they are positively encouraged and praised. Whenever they show positive behaviour, reward them by specifically mentioning what you are rewarding them for. This will encourage them to want to do even more. For example, instead of saying, “That is very good”, be specific and say, “That picture you painted is fantastic – I love the colours you put together and the detail of the flowers – you have artistic talent!”
3. Show Them You Care
Be affectionate towards your children – hug them and kiss them and do it regularly. This helps to show them that you care and also helps them to feel more comfortable about expressing their feelings to you when they need to.
Even if they have done something to hurt you, continue showing them affection and remember they are still learning – this gives them the message that you love them unconditionally, even if they have done something wrong, show them that you can repair the issue by talking about it. This allows room for mistakes, and your child learns that they don’t have to be perfect. They will know that they can turn to you for love, advice and strength.
4. Model Behaviour You Wish To See
Children pick up on everything – they listen to the words you use, your body language and behaviour, the actions you take and what you wear. Ensure that you are modelling the kind of behaviour you want to see from your children. For example, use positive words to help them build a positive mental attitude. Speak to your partner in a kind way so the children learn how to have conversations within the family. If you see a behaviour that concerns you, perhaps see how you might be encouraging this in them without realising.
5. Make Them Feel Special
Make your children feel special every day – help them to understand that their home is a safe space and you as parents are there for them. Spend time with them every day together – even if it is just 10 minutes. Spend one on one time with each child to develop those relationships.
You can simply spend time together talking – start talking about feelings and emotions to help them understand that if anything bad happens or they are upset, that they can come and talk to you.
Other ideas for quality time are reading a story, eating a meal together, go for a walk and chat, play a board game or play with play dough.
I hope you enjoy spending more time with your children over the holidays.