Trust and Safety is imperative to a child’s development.
It's not just about being there physically; it's about tuning into their emotional, sensory, and developmental needs too.
But what does it all mean?
Sensory safety refers to creating an environment that is comfortable, validating and accommodating to an individual's sensory needs and preferences.
As parents and carers we can pay attention to how a child reacts to things like lights, sounds, textures, and even smells. Eg. Some kids can get overwhelmed easily, so a sensory-safe space might have softer lighting, less noise, or certain textures that a child finds comforting. This type of safety can help children feel more in control of their surroundings and themselves.
Understanding a child's developmental abilities means not pushing them too hard to do things they're not ready for, but also not holding them back from what they can achieve.
It's about setting reasonable expectations, finding the ‘just right challenge’ and then supporting the child as they try to meet them. When kids feel capable and supported, it boosts their confidence and makes them feel secure in their abilities.
In a cognitively safe environment, children are encouraged to think, question, and explore. They're not afraid to make mistakes, because mistakes are seen as opportunities for learning, not as failures. Cognitive safety empowers children to engage deeply in tasks, manage their attention effectively, and approach problems with a mindset geared towards learning and growth.
Emotional + Relational Safety
Building a trusting relationship lays the foundation for all other types of safety and development.
When a child feels emotionally safe, they know they can express themselves openly and will be met with understanding, empathy, and support from their caregivers. This emotional bond acts as a 'safe base' from which they can explore their environment—both physical and emotional.