Safe Space

In trying to write to the WASO theme of safe spaces, there is really only one place Jonathan feels to appear safe; home.

I’m judging his feelings of safety on times when his behaviour is slightly more calm, he’s in that ‘just right’ space to listen, and is generally more easy-going. I don’t know if that translates to feeling safe, but that’s what I’m going with.

He’s definitely more comfortable at home than other places; we can tell by his ability to (often) follow the rules and boundaries more so at home than anywhere else.

Thinking back to when he moved in, almost 10 months ago now, his volume was super loud and all he really knew what to do was run with his fire truck back and forth up and down the hall.

His ‘safety’ then was showing everybody who came by the vacuum and the fire alarms. Compulsively. Constantly. He also had to point every single fire alarm out and talk about them in every single store.

He’s definitely come a long way from there, and although he still loves his fire trucks, alarms and vacuums, he’s slightly more quiet and is able to occupy himself in others way now.

However, I don’t think it’s so much the physical space of the house that makes it safe for Jonathan, but more so it’s us.

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We have tried very hard to be consistent, to give routine and predictability. To let him know what’s happening, who’s coming and going and we’ve always followed through (ok, there has been a few times I slacked). Those things combined with love and lots of reassurance and fun have translated to safety for him.

It’s a lot of work. It’s constant work. It’s a lot of time and effort to parent this way. But the alternative is not an option we want for Jonathan. Hopefully over time he will be able to expand the number of places and people he feels safe with, but for now we will just keep focusing on us at home.

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12 thoughts on “Safe Space

  1. Enjoyed reading this – I agree that home, family and familiarity are so important for our little ones. Fair play to you both for being consistent in your parenting – you are right.. it is hard work 🙂

  2. It’s interesting how you feel the space he is calmest is his safest.
    In writing my own Safe Space piece, I was thinking about the place Mini feels most able to ‘let it all out’, yell and scream – and that for him is also home…different behaviours but in safe places.. In Mini’s unsafe places he is more compliant, calmer, but hypervigilant…

    Thanks for linking up to #WASO x

    • I can totally see that feeling safe can equal the unleashing of feelings, but it’s so clear right now that with us and home is his net as he’s just to ‘with it’ in that setting and when he’s out with others or daycare he is so much more unsure of things and his behaviour so all over the place.
      Thanks for reading:)

  3. Loved reading your experiences. Our guy has been with us 2 and 1/2 years now, and I can relate to that. For us time has helped as well, because now we can see that it’s also about rhythms of life: transition times are always challenging (that limbo-land that is the end of one thing and the beginning of another). Also, traumatic events that happened at a certain time / holiday / birthday / etc…It’s still challenging, and often in a very heavy way. Re: time- it takes a long time to get to know each other too.
    Bless you (I’m not religious but BLESS YOU) and your little person, and all the love, and more than love, that you are sharing.

    • Thank you so much, I’m glad you enjoy reading. Time is definitely making a difference and we can feel the rhythms changing as he settles in more and we get to know each other more. Thanks again:)

  4. I was thinking like Vicki as I read the post, safe for us means a place where boundaries are pushed, opinions are given and the word no is used. However, when I reflect I see it is also the place where there is the most relaxation, slouching on the sofa and allowing minds to be emptied and switched off. Oldest even sits when he watches the TV (for years he preferred to stand), so I think it is a combination of the two but mostly is about feeling able to drop their guard and be true to themselves. I’m sure the constant hard work that you do is ensuring that feeling of safety is growing by the day.

    Thanks for linking up to #WASO. x

    • With the chaos of kindergarten starting the this week we are definitely seeing behaviours more along the lines that you and Vicki pointed out! It’s a big adjustment and he’s struggling a bit (and tired too) so I can really see both sides.

      Thanks for your kind words!

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