Social Emotional Development: Creating a Secure Base for Our Children

Blog Kathie Sarles

Children need to feel safe and secure in order to learn. As parents it is our job to make sure those safety nets and secure routines are in place. Creating an environment that offers positive social emotional experiences is essential for the rich relationships that children need in order to grow and development into their best selves. Social emotional development is the foundation by which our children learn about emotions, self- esteem, self -awareness and self- control.

When our babies are born they have the ability to see exactly as far as they need to: your face. From the safety of your arms your baby sees your face and feels your emotions. This connection allows for a mutually regulated system between you and your baby. You give love, you feed and keep them safe and warm, and they respond and regulate to you. That give and take begins at birth and should be nurtured and enhanced throughout their life.

The Center for the Study of Social Policy states, “These dimensions of social emotional competence do not evolve naturally. The course of social emotional development whether healthy or unhealthy – depends on the quality of nurturing attachment and stimulation that a child experiences.”

Relationships matter. Creating routines that incorporate your culture and values helps to give your child a sense of self within the context of the family. Including them and their interests further that goal. When a child feels secure and safe in his own environment and within the context of the family relationship, he is more prepared to make other connections, both social and cognitive.

What We Can Do:

Create predictable routines. Center those routines on daily regulatory needs like eating, sleeping, bathing and dressing.

Know and accept your child’s temperament.

Accept and show emotions (modeling emotion can help a child understand theirs)

Repair any rupture that occurs during the day

Create a time to chat daily and go over the day’s activities ( positive and negative) in a supportive way

Offer rich opportunities for your child to interact with others and with you.