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You are certainly very vigilant about your baby's physical safety, multiplying socket covers, table corners and "give me your hand to cross the street!".

Do you know about emotional security? Essential for the development of the child, structuring for the adult he/she will become, it is an invaluable gift. We asked Emmanuelle Rigeade, the childcare nurse in charge of the app May, to tell us more.

Emotional security, what is it?

Since birth, your baby has been developing and building the foundations of the person he/she is becoming. This is true on a physical and motor level (and you surely see his/her progress every day!) but also on an emotional level.

Each interaction with his/her entourage and his/her environment participates in this construction and will lay the foundations of his/her emotional security. "I can try, I can do it", "I deserve attention and love", "I can ask for help", are all founding certainties that are built from childhood. This feeling of security is essential to grow in confidence and to develop as a person. 🙂

A secure child is an adult who has confidence in his abilities and in others. It is of course through your affection that you will participate in the construction of this emotional security, but not only: it is also through a certain coherence in your care and in your answers, and through the constancy of his environment, that you will bring him this indispensable base.

So let's face it, emotional security is a priceless gift.

How to give your child this gift?!

• Long live routines: a constant and predictable framework ⏰

To feel secure, your baby needs to be part of a regular routine.The regularity of daily life, which is not always a parent's ideal or accurate life, is actually very beneficial for little ones: his bath at the same time of day, his bed always placed in the same place, an identical bedtime ritual every evening, as well as care and meals that are repeated in the same way... Rituals are like beacons that reassure your baby. Little by little, he/she apprehends the world with more serenity. He/she knows what to expect, can start to anticipate, project, imagine... 

Of course, for this subject as for the others, the exceptions have all their place! An evening turned upside down because a meeting went on forever, a vacation with a slightly different rhythm, that's life!

Consistency is also essential in your behavior: your child finds cues in the fact that you respond in the same way when identical situations arise. When your child pulls the cat's hair, if sometimes you intervene and other times you look at him and laugh, he doesn't know what to think!

• Be encouraging, without asking too much 📣

Having confidence in your child is not an empty word: it means accepting to observe them live their experiences, accompanying them by letting them take measured risks and waiting for them to ask to help them. And of course congratulating him: "That's good!", "I'm proud of you!" 

The idea is to find your balance, the right point for you, avoiding extremes:

- A hyperprotective attitude: the child feels the restraint and fear of his parent who often prefers to do things for him/her and anticipates difficulties. He adopts a reserved attitude.

- A coach's attitude : parents who overestimate their children's abilities risk confronting them with unnecessary failure and loss of self-confidence. The child needs to progress at his own pace and to feel valued at each step he takes.

Emotional safety always relies on physical safety. To avoid being hypervigilant, take care of your child's living environment to limit the dangers. This way, you will limit what is forbidden and allow your child to take more initiative. In the same way, by giving protective rules, by explaining the dangers, you show your child that you watch over him. 

• Love with a big L ❤️

Whatever the events, the context or the behavior of your child, they must always find in you a constancy of love: it is the unconditional love of the parent. It is obviously impossible to be 100% constant, to always give the right answer, to always have the right reaction. BUT, you can always assure your child of your love.

This love is concretely manifested by a kind look, warm signs of affection, an acceptance of his emotions and reactions, without judgment and without questioning. 

This is certainly the most important: you can be tired, sad, stressed, whatever you want, but in each of these situations (which your child can understand), the main thing is that he/she does not doubt your love. So even in hard times, don't hesitate to say it, say it again, say it again!

• Physical proximity 👩🏽‍🍼

By carrying your baby in your arms, by touching them... you help them feel enveloped, contained. Your child, throughout the day, is crossed by many emotions that can overwhelm them. A gentle tone of voice, a few moments of cuddling, will (almost) always calm the crying or the anger, and life can go on.

Using the baby carrier, cuddling and even massages... Being in physical proximity is a great way to feel connected and to soothe each other. Don't be afraid to do too much, avoid the "you'll make a dependent child", you can never make your child too secure!

• (Try) to respond to their needs 👂🏼

As your child grows, he will learn to adapt, but in the first months, and even the first years, it is mainly you, his parents, who adapt! Your baby expresses his hunger, his fears, his discomforts in his own way (not always so easy to understand!)... By responding to these daily needs, you allow your baby to feel heard. 

In this regard, it is recommended that you try to sign with your baby : This transitional language will allow your child to be understood even before mastering speech.

You will surely fumble, have trial and error, but the very act of trying to meet your baby's needs brings a deep sense of security: "I am understood by my parents and I can count on them..."

A gift that you can only give by also taking care of yourself

Giving affection unconditionally and permanently is very demanding (there is no shame sometimes in feeling exhausted...). Let's say it right away too: it is simply impossible to be a scratch-free, perfect and infallible parent. Give up that ideal quickly, or you'll burn out. 🥱

That being said, providing a consistent framework, meeting your child's needs, requires an availability that requires you to be well too! It is essential to find time to recharge your batteries, take some distance and fill your own emotional tank. Just as you want your child to thrive, make sure you thrive as well . A happy parent is the greatest gift for a child! 🎁

The emotional security that you embody is experienced by your child as a basis for safety. If a small plane knows that at any time it can come and recharge on its carrier, it will not hesitate to go explore unknown lands! 🌍

Did you like this article?

We can only recommend the application May , which can help you in many ways:

• By providing you with a team of professionals specialized in early childhood (including many lactation consultants!), available every day from 8am to 10pm, in your pocket 

• By offering you hundreds of articles and audio masterclasses with the greatest experts, adapted to your child's age. 

Breastfeeding but also health, sleep, nutrition, education... May brings practical, caring and personalized answers to all your questions as a parent!