Monday, October 8, 2012

The Secret To A Secure Child - 8 Tips {Mindful Mothering Mondays}


Richard L. Evans

The leaves change and the temperatures plummet.  We light a fire at dusk and the kids play hide and seek.  Their voices call out to each other in the dark and each is confident, knowing the others are there.

I think about it long after the last embers go out and Daddy rakes out the fire pit, after the last smoke-scented little head has nodded off to dream world - the true secret to a secure child.

We hear all the conjecture, we nod our heads and read the articles, the studies - what really matters to children.  What speaks right to their souls and tells them: You matter.  You belong.  You are loved, even when you don't act lovely.  You are secure.  You are wanted and treasured.

We know what children need - time, and lots of it.  Real time, not time in front of  a television or video game.  Not time with a Dad glued to a smart phone.  Children need real time in real life.  A real chance to see life and learn their place in it.  Just as nursing is not only about optimal nutrition for baby but bonding as well, so including children in real life is more than just showing them skills, feeding them dinner or reading a story.  It speaks to the center of who they are.  It shows them where they fit in their world.  It gives them the security and confidence to move outside of their family circle.

When children are secure, they are free to concentrate on the business of growing up without worrying about the fundamentals.  And perhaps the best news for us parents?  It doesn't cost us anything beyond a bit of time and effort.  No million dollar price tag over 18 years of parenting.  I don't know why it keeps surprising me, that the things that matter the very most in this life, this parenting journey, the things that could be a game and life-changer?  Don't cost a dime.

How to get started, if you've fallen away?  If life has become more of a race and less of a slow, intentional journey?  Here are a few tried and true ways to grow your child in security and confidence.  Let's make the effort then, shall we?

1) Dinner together.  We know this one matters, but in a culture where extra curriculars and working late reign, we find ourselves making more excuses than time.   Studies show time and again the impact this has on our little ones.  So no matter what is for dinner - grilled cheese or even take out, take the time.  Make a rule: no one leaves the table until the last person finishes.  Use this time to connect daily, to pray, to talk.

2) Responsibilities.  Kid's need responsibilities around the house, whether you have one or ten and whether or not you actually "need" the help.  When a child is given an expectation and required to meet it, they take personal responsibility for an aspect of family life - and become more invested.

3) Share your Faith.  If you are a family of faith, let this be the bedrock of your home.  Pray together each morning, noon and night.  Read scriptures together.  Attend services and classes.  Wrap your children in this aspect of family.

4) Do something together.  Family game night has become something of a punch line in recent years, but the reason it rose in popularity stems from the same topic we are discussing today.  But there is no need to spend time doing something together that none of you particularly like, if you aren't a gaming family.  Take a walk together, no matter the weather, in a nearby aboretum.  Make a bonfire, if you have that capability.  Plant a garden.  Work on a home improvement project.  Involve everyone, from the tiniest family member to the very biggest.

5) Know when to be hospitable, and when to close ranks.  I am very much in favor of opening your home to others and counting friends among family, but also knowing when "just us" is just what everyone needs.  Maybe take Sundays as a family day, a day where you retreat from the outside world and connect with those in your own family.  Your children will see that they matter to you when you take the time to focus inward.

6) Work on your marriage.  Kids see everything.  They hear everything.  And they know quite a bit about how the relationship stands between the two adults in their homes and lives.  They have a front row seat, after all!  They look to this, the foundation of their family, for security.  What they see there could make all the difference.  So work on your marriage.  Love your spouse right out loud.  Let your children see your respect and admiration for one another and the strength of your partnership.

7) Re-prioritize.  Children see your priorities, too.  They know when you are a downright hypocrite, telling them to stop watching tv or playing video games while you are sucked into facebook. (Self sermon here, folks.).  Parenting is always going to contain a bit of "Do as I say, not as I do," because we are all fallen, accident prone, mistake making humans.  But work on it.  Show them what really matters, and it will matter to them.

8) Include them. Often it seems like it would just be easier to do a job myself, without a gaggle (or even just one or two) little ones in tow.  But for kids, quality time isn't just when everything is focused on them.  It is often the chance to go grocery shopping with Mom, or help Dad chop wood.  It's showing them how to clean a bathroom or showing her how to sew on a button.  We could do all of these things more efficiently without their "help," yet allowing them to help is a gift to them.  Not only does it grant them valuable skills that they do need, but it boosts their confidence and gives them something to be proud of.  To be part of something bigger than themselves.

There are many many more ways to grow security and confidence in your child - this list is just a jumping off point.  But by implementing just a few here and there, it just might make all the difference.


{It's Mindful Mothering Mondays, a day to take a deep breath and write out your mothering journey, whatever form it takes.  A day to link up for encouragement from others who are in this same phase of life.  A day of writing out the trials and triumphs and what you're learning right where you are, right now. 

You might post recent struggles or thoughts.  Maybe just a picture or a quote.  Or maybe you'll just come here and read the links that others post.  Whatever form your participation takes, this is a day for you.
We are all in this, together.  Together, we can encourage and build one another up, be honest with our shortcomings and strengthened by community to keep fighting the good fight.

I chose Mondays because what Mama doesn't need a little encouragement on a Monday? As such, I'll have the link up ready to go on Sunday night for you to begin submitting your links.

I hope you'll meet with me each Monday!  Here's what to do ~

Link up your post below.  Remember to put the link to the exact post you want to link, and not just your blog url. Include in your post a link back here so others who want to join in can find us!  And visit some other Mamas who have linked up.

Post the community graphic within your post, so people who are reading your Mindful Mothering post can come back here and find the rest of us!

Invite the writers of your favorite blogs to join in!

Share this meme with others on facebook and twitter.  This community is for all moms, and the more that participate, the more we will be able to enjoy!!}

Grab the graphic here:


Psst! Are you interested in being our featured poster on a Mindful Mothering Monday?  I'm opening up Mondays for guest posters.  If interested, please submit your completed post along with photographs in jpeg format to lydiajwill at gmail dot com.  I look forward to hearing from you!
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  1. I linked up about our adorable cosleeping 6 month old. I think I'm ready to have her in her own bed, and I think she's almost there too. But it's all about how much time I want to spend comforting her in the nursery versus just having her in bed with us (so much easier!). Would love sleep, but what's the best way for both of us to get good sleep? Sigh.

  2. Some great tips! Despite best intentions, there is ALWAYS a way in which we can try harder to build a stronger connection with our children! Happy Monday to you!

  3. I'm printing this one for my household notebook. Thanks for the reminder...K

  4. You hit the nail on the head, as you always do. Thanks for sharing.


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