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How To Raise Emotionally Healthy Children: Feeling Secure

Submitted by on March 28, 2013 – 1:34 pmOne Comment

Emotionally Healthy Children - Feeling Secure

Fifth in a Series of Articles on Raising Emotionally Healthy Children


Guest Post from The Children’s Project

According to Dr. Newmark, the fifth critical emotional need of children is the need to feel Secure.  Security means creating a positive environment where people care about one another and show it; where people express themselves and others listen; where differences are accepted and conflicts are resolved constructively; where enough structure and rules exist for children to feel safe and protected, and where children have opportunities to actively participate in their own evolution and that of the family.

Important elements contributing to a children’s sense of security are:

  • Parent’s Relationship – When parents bicker, treat each other disrespectfully, and rarely show affection, children experience anxiety and insecurity.  If couples treated each other with the five emotional needs in mind, they would be better role models for the kids, and there would be happier marriages, fewer divorces, and more secure, joyful children.
  • Caring, Affectionate Environment – Ob­serving affection between parents and receiving affection from them is very important to the child’s sense of security.  How you begin and end the day, week, month, year presents opportunities for regular demonstrations of affection with your children.  And remember to take care of yourself, also.
  • Traditions & Rituals – Establishing traditions and rituals to celebrate events give children a sense of stability and security, as well as family activities.
  • Parent Anxiety – Overprotective, excessively controlling parents often produce insecure, uptight, anxious kids who carry some of these hang-ups and anxieties into adulthood.
  • Discipline – Children need structure, without which they will not feel secure.  Establish rules and consequences together.  Avoid ambiguous expectations, too many rules, inappropriate/excessive consequences, inconsistent implementation of consequences and physical punishment.
  • Self-Discipline – Self-discipline needs to be encouraged and developed. This means allowing children to explore more things and experience the consequences of their actions.  In this way, they learn to anticipate negative consequences and exercise self-control to avoid them. Too much control deprives children of this opportunity.

Children need freedom as much as control; to smother them can result in intimidated children or rebellious ones.  One goal is to protect them so they don’t suffer from their im­pulses and inexperience; another is for them to have enough freedom to grow into confident, self-reliant, thoughtful, in­dependent caring and civic-minded individuals. Growing up in a positive and stable environment contributes to a child’s sense of security.

Satisfying a child’s five critical emotional needs will enable them to become self-confident, independent, responsible, thinking, caring and civic-minded individuals.

Read the first article in this series: Respect

Read the second article in the series: Important

Read the third article in this series: Acceptance

Read the fourth article in the series: Feeling Included


To learn more about Dr. Newmark and The Children’s Project go to You can also visit us on facebook: and follow our tweets on twitter: @emotionalhealth. To order the book How To Raise Emotionally Healthy Children by Dr. Gerald Newmark go to  Available in book, Kindle and audio.


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