Children who feel safe are able to learn and develop more freely. We know this from research studies and also from our own experiences and observations. We are able to learn better when we feel safe. Yet, many children in our communities do not feel safe. Some adults, especially womxn, have expressed their daily experience of not feeling safe. I have struggled to write this blog after hearing so many stories of people, including children, who do not feel safe. My idealized images of ‘safety’ have been shattered by reality.
Let us re look at our homes as this should ideally be a safe place. A home may have different places for different purposes. Let’s have a look with ‘new eyes’ at each place and how they are used for nourishment, cleaning, rest, fun and learning.
The kitchen is our central space and perhaps the most commonly used meeting place for our family. We all need the kitchen place to be refueled with water for thirst, food for hunger and company for sense of belonging to others. It is also a place where much work is needed to make this happen – providing fuel, preparing food, and washing up afterwards.
We also have a place for rest and sleep. Rest and relaxation is an important part of our well-being. A safe home is a place for rest and regaining energy for life. I have been reminded over the past while that most of us do not get enough sleep, which may have an impact on our well-being and even memory functions.
We also need a place for becoming clean. Getting dirty is expected in any day of work and play. We get messy interacting with others as well. Hurtful words can dirty our thoughts, and the process of cleaning or letting go of the dirt helps us to be refreshed. Becoming dirty and washing is a daily process both in body and in mind.
Some of us may have a place for learning new information and to gain understanding. We can also learn through fun and playing games. A lounge or TV area could be a place for family games and chatting etc. Games often connects family members together, except if there is a bad loser.
If we see our communities as a big home, there are different places for different purposes. We need safe places to buy food and eat to renew our energies. We needs safe places to rest and relax, such as the beaches and parks. We need safe places for recreation and having fun, such as sports fields and cinemas. We need safe places for nourishment and eating, such as restaurants and taverns. We need safe places to become clean, such as dams and religious places that symbolise cleansing and healing. We need safe places to learn new information, such as schools and libraries.
Let us each create safety for us to become our best self
Let us each create safe places in our homes for our children to learn and grow
Let us each create safe places in our communities for all children to become their best self.
Let us remember that all our children are precious and deserve to feel safe in their homes and communities.