Feelings are the bedrock of healthy development. They form the relationship we have with ourselves and others.
Vulnerable feelings underlie our capacity to set goals, be resilient and adaptive, and survive adversity and traumatic events. The key to keeping our kid’s heart soft and safe is through strong caring connections. If our kids can feel they can attach, rest, play, grow, and heal.
Emotional maturity is as sophisticated as cognitive development and requires support from the adults in a child’s life. Sometimes feelings can get stuck and give rise to challenging behaviour and learning problems. The key is to make sense of emotions and to use relationships and play to help get a child or teen unstuck.
Articles About Feeling
Four Irreducible Needs for Healthy Development
One of our greatest responsibilities is to create the conditions that allow our children and adolescents to develop and flourish. There are four irreducible needs that must be met if our kids are to reach their full human potential: to attach, to feel, to rest, and to play. Using developmental and relational science we will chart a course towards providing for these needs.
To attach requires us to develop deep relationships that anchor our children to us. Through attachment, we create a psychological womb for maturation to occur. It isn’t enough that we love our kids, but that they give their hearts to us for safekeeping.
To feel means we support a child or teen with their emotions so they grow to be caring, socially responsible individuals. We know soft hearts are needed to grow well, overcome adversity, and become resilient and resourceful.
To foster rest means we answer our kid’s hunger for connection and need for emotional expression, whether we are supporting their sleep, feeding them, or helping them learn. Rest is vital to caring for their body, heart, and mind.
Creating the conditions for play helps to preserve emotional health and support the development of selfhood. Play is a natural context for deepening relationships and for learning too.
Helpful infographics to make sense of kids through developmental science.
You are in there driver’s seat. Start making sense of your kids in a new way.