Raising Secure Children in an Uncertain World

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“What’s going to be Mommy?” “Should I be scared to walk to school?” are just a few of the questions that are on our kids’ minds in light of the world’s recent tragic and indescribably devastating events.  

  

Since nobody knows the future, there is no value in wondering on what will be. Praying hard, and doing good deeds are the most powerful tools we have that can influence our future. 

 

Children get vibes from us whether we speak or not. We are all very pained, and even so, we want to lead our children towards emotional health with strength and confidence. In order to help our children feel as secure as possible while knowing that our sisters and brothers around the world are suffering so much, we can do a few things. First, we want to teach and model three points about emotional health that can make a world of a difference for our children. People who know these three things are emotionally worlds ahead of people who don’t. 

 

Emotional Default Settings 

 

We all were born with certain emotional default settings that never leave us, and it’s our thinking that that can take us away from experiencing them. Our emotional default settings are happiness, resilience, and security.  

 

Happiness – Nobody has to teach a few month old baby how to smile. They just do. Sure, babies cry when they need something, but not because they have any beliefs about themselves or the world around them. 

 

Resilience – When babies learn to walk and they fall, they naturally get up and try again. It could be after a day, a week or a month, but the natural resilience is there, and doesn’t ever leave us. 

 

Security – When babies cry because they are hungry, they stop crying when the food comes. They are not worried about whether they will get their milk fast enough next time, or how the milk will taste next time. As adults, we often have everything we need, and in our minds we are still insecure about what will be. We developed those insecurities through life’s experiences that were uniquely designed for us, and when we let go of those insecurities we become aware that we can get back to our natural secure state of emotional health. 

 

Validate Feelings  

 

All feelings are normal, and are an expected part of the human experience. Do not try to make your children’s uncomfortable feelings or your own feelings not be felt. Feelings are meant to be felt and pass through us, and if we don’t allow them to be felt they can get stuck inside us.  

 

Fortunately, the nature of feelings is that they are fluid, so they will always pass, even the really uncomfortable ones.   

 

Hashem Is Watching Over Us 

 

We are 100 percent okay 100 percent of the time. This does not mean that we are not pained or that we won’t have challenges. It just means that whatever challenge Hashem sends us in life, we will always have the tools to get through it. 

 

 

In addition to knowing the above points about emotional health, let’s raise children who value and love making contributions. Being productive is a great antidote to much suffering.  

 

We are wired to want to give to others, so when we do, we feel good because we are fulfilling one of our life purposes. Even when it’s not a time of crisis children should be helping out around the house, visiting and calling grandparents, helping neighbors, etc. Model for them that you embrace hard work. After driving them to school, let them know how fortunate you feel to be able to drive them. Tell them that “Givers and Doers” are much happier and more fulfilled than people who don’t value giving and doing.