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Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, represented as a pyramid, most basic needs at bottom
I've been thinking a lot lately about Abraham Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs.  If you've ever taken any early childhood development or psychology classes, you'll remember this simple concept:  Basic needs must be met before higher needs.

Maslow theorized that physiological needs, like food, warmth, and sleep needed to be met first, and then security, and so on.

I don't know that I agree 100% with this, but it is worth thinking about, nevertheless.

The red section, safety, stands out to me.  I think this is primarily because I was bullied in school as a child.  If school is not a safe place to be, if a child needs to look out for him or herself, and cannot relax and feel safe, how can they learn?  The same can be said of home life.  If a child feels belittled, picked on, unwanted or unloved, how can they learn?

When Big Dad and I discussed becoming parents, one of the things that was most important to us was this:  That the children would know that they are wanted, loved, okay with us, and that we are glad to see them.  Please understand, this does not mean that we do not correct or discipline.  Rather, we do it from a place of love - wanting the best for them.  We are careful to build them up in love at all other times.

One of the ways this happens at our home is around sleep.  When the kids are going to bed, Big Dad spends time with them reading stories, praying and talking with them.  This is also my time to be by myself and relax.

In the mornings, we reverse it.  The kids all join me in bed for snuggles.  Big Dad is up and enjoying a quiet morning downstairs, while the kids and I are snuggling and chatting.  It is a wonderful time to connect.

We make sure to tell the kids individually that we love them, that we are glad for them.  We spend special times with each during the week, doing something they would like to do.  We value their opinions and their ideas.  All these things make for that sense of belonging and love.  And we zealously protect them from harm.  They feel safe and loved.

What do you do in your family to promote safety and love?

Wish you were here!

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