Human beings are social creatures. We are wired to connect to other human beings in order to stay alive and thrive in our lives. This need to be accepted and loved is not just a feel good idea but is deeply woven into our physiological drives and fight or flight survival mechanisms. Our families prepare us and show us how we will be accepted and need to confront the world. It also wires our reactive tendencies.
In this Studio 5 segment, Dr. Matt explains the five conditions we should all be creating if we want our homes to be a blessing and not a curse.
Do they feel like they really belong?
TO DO’s: Go out of your way to show you care. Show a spirit of acceptance for who they are, not just tolerance. Draw a circle big enough that they can fit into the family instead of a small circle that they must conform or change in order to fit into. Everyone should fit into their family!
Do they feel a sense of unconditional love and caring?
TO DO’s: Figure our how your children love to be loved and make the time and space to love them that way. Do they want time, touch, talk, things or togetherness?
Are they enough in your eyes or is more always expected to ensure they’ll be around?
TO DO’s: Get good at shutting your mouth. Just accept who your child is and love them anyway. Recognize that “they don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” Don’t focus on accomplishment as much as on being. Shine a light on their intrinsic qualities, not their extrinsic.
Is there something about them that permanently makes them extra special to you?
TO DO’s: Help them find their strengths, passions and possibilities. Go with them on their interests and let them explore their own path. Allow them to use the process of failing to figure out what really makes them different.
Are they safe with you physically, socially, emotionally, spiritually and financially?
TO DO’s: Encourage them to risk. Stand by their side when they fail. Give them the nod when they are about to risk something big. Know when to hold their hand and when to let it go. Don’t let your anxiety and fears control their view of the world. Empower them to make themselves safe and to self sooth.