A Table: On Safe Spaces
D’s daughter, H came home unusually quiet. H was out cycling with her friends, D noticed H fidgeting with her toys. D began to play with H, and H happily chose to engage.
D chose to talk to H over dinner, a time where H is receptive to conversation.
D: ‘How was cycling, H? Did you have fun today?’
H fidgets with her spoon, idling. H nods, half a smile.
D: ‘Would you like to share anything?’, D smiles reassuringly.
H continues to move her food around.
D: ‘It’s okay if you don’t want to talk about it, H. Please know that I’ll listen when you feel comfortable. Does that sound okay to you?’
D: ‘Sometimes H, even really nice people can say/do hurtful things, it's hard. I want you to know that you can always talk to me about it. Let’s promise that we come to the table when we feel hurt and talk about it when we can. What do you think, H?
H: ‘You too, D.’
Foster safe spaces that allow children to communicate how they feel. Attempt to ask politely, validate that it is okay to be hurt. Allow yourself to reassure them that they can approach you, designate a safe spot and as with adults, with children too, ask for consent.
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