Your home is your sanctuary and, by extension, should be your child’s sanctuary as well. Making sure that your child gets the support they need at home is a task that should be undertaken thoughtfully and with your child’s specific needs in mind. Here are 7 ideas to make your home a safe mental health space for kids.
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1) Make Sure That They Have Their Own Space
The very first thing that you should keep in mind is that in order for your child to have a safe space, they should have their own space. Ideally, a child’s own room is the best place for this. If your child has to share the space with others, like a sibling, give each child as much privacy as can be managed with room dividers and curtains.
2) Teach Your Child to Express Themselves Healthily by Example
Learning to communicate starts at home. Lead by example and learn ways to effectively communicate your feelings and expectations to your child and household in ways that are respectful, clear, and calm; your child will understand that this is a space where they can be themselves and let their feelings and fears be known and heard.
3) Offer a Support Network
It takes a village to raise a child and that means that when you or your child needs help dealing with big issues or emotional matters, it’s good to have someone to turn to. Extended family, trusted friends, or community programs can be an invaluable resource for your family to deal with those issues that you might need a little extra guidance on. Make sure that your child knows that there are people that they can rely on.
4) Keep Your Home a Calm, Relaxing Place
The idea of a quiet, relaxing home environment and the reality of raising children can seem like two opposing ends of a spectrum at times. But making your home your child’s safe space is as easy as offering a calm and consistent environment for them to get away from the stress of everyday life. Keeping a home neat and free of major conflict and noise can easily make your home a haven.
5) Offer Them a “Quiet Corner”
In addition to keeping your home a calm place, you can also offer a specific place for your child to regroup when even the general home space is too much for them. Creating a “quiet corner”, or somewhere where your child can fully get away from outside distractions, can be beneficial to your child’s mental health.
6) Don’t Ignore Big Problems
Facing difficult problems head-on will teach your child resiliency and healthy ways to deal with big issues. Make sure that these problems are discussed in a healthy and constructive way and find solutions that are attainable and helpful.
7) Spend Time With Them
The easiest way to give your child a safe space is to make your home a space where they feel loved, listened to, and cared for. Spending time with your child, giving them your attention, indulging their interests, and making them feel heard is the best way to make your home your child’s safe mental health space.