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Making children feel loved and secure

(14 Posts)
CityBoy1984 Sun 23-Oct-16 20:55:15

I have a very basic question and an anonymous chat board seems like a reasonable forum to raise it.

Did anyone on here grow up in a home that provided them with a genuine sense of unconditional love and security?

If so,

(a) were there any key moments in your childhood that helped to cement that feeling, and

(b) were there any negative consequences to that sense of love and security?

Just for background, we have a little boy and it's very important to me that he grows up feeling secure and loved.

I had a difficult relationship with my parents. As a consequence I don't have a good sense of whether other people actually do grow up with a genuine sense of unconditional love and security, or whether that is just something that we see on TV. That probably sounds like a stupid thing to admit, but whenever I hear people talk about having a great relationship with one of their parents I just assume that they are being polite (i.e. lying).

Anyway, thoughts would be appreciated!


Iamdazedandconfused Sun 23-Oct-16 21:05:18

I can't think of any particular moments that cemented the feeling of love and security, or any negatives to it. I think the consistency of loving parenting cements that sort of security rather than any particular events in life.

I'm in my twenties now and I still feel the same sense of unconditional love and security from my parents, it's definitely a real-life thing that I'm sure your little boy will grow up feeling too smile

Gillian1980 Sun 23-Oct-16 21:50:00

I'm late thirties now and still have a sense of unconditional love and security from my dad (he was a single parent).

I had an unusual childhood I suppose, my mum died when I was very little so dad brought us up mostly alone except for a brief second marriage when I was at primary school. Then another brief marriage when I was in my twenties.

Maybe I could see how hard it was for dad - grieving and working full time while bringing us up and making sure we never went without, emotionally or materially - and this was a clear portrayal of his love? I've never really thought about it.

I just know he was always there, always had our best interests at heart, never made us feel bad about ourselves and supported us in all aspects of our lives. He didn't always agree with our choices but respected that they were our choices.

flutterworc Sun 23-Oct-16 21:55:36

I grew up feeling very secure and knew there was unconditional love. No specific 'moments' but discipline was always matched with reassurance and context (why it was wrong, etc.)

No specific negatives that I can think of. I have a fantastic relationship with my parents now and DH & I practice a similar method with our DS.

RainbowInACloud Sun 23-Oct-16 22:00:41

I grew up feeling so loved and secure. My mum praised me easily and often and I believed I was beautiful, kind and clever. Slight downside I guess is that I still seek out praise and thrive on praise which doesn't happen that often in the adult world. But that's a small price to pay for feeling so happy and loved and I still have a wonderful relationship with my parents now.

barefootinkitchen Sun 23-Oct-16 22:23:39

I grew up feeling unconditionally loved and secure. I think it gave me the confidence to do things alone like choosing to leave school at 16 to commute to a better A levels college, and going abroad to work alone I think this was because I felt that support behind me.
Nothing in particular stands out but I remember after arguments between my parents my mum and dad would come up separately to my bedroom afterwards and tuck me in and say sorry and talk honestly and I would feel all secure again.
In terms of negatives. I found that in dating/ relationships I would feel immediately secure with people, but I think I was seen as needy by some men as I craved cuddles and closeness and it was painful not to get it. Ok now as Dp is like me.

barefootinkitchen Sun 23-Oct-16 22:25:19

Oh and like 'rainbowonacloud' I want praise too.

RaeSkywalker Sun 23-Oct-16 22:28:32

I think it's about consistency too. Doing what you say you will. Spending time is important too.

Downsides- I think I was too trusting as a teen. I kind of bowled into situations willing to defend people who were being bullied etc. It kind of made me open to being bullied myself.

PinkiePiesCupcakes Sun 23-Oct-16 22:39:16

I was rises by my dad after my mum ran off with mother man. My dad was quite old when he got my mum pregnant, I was born in 1979, my dad was born in 1933.

With that in mind I had an odd upbringing. He was neither cold, nor warm, iyswim. Very much a product of his father who was born and raised in 1899 onward. Children were seen, never heard. Physical punishment was an option for any transgression. I don't recall being told I was loved and knew I was n accident from an early age. I also knew my mum didn't want me only bexcuse she had two others, whom she took, which naturally meant my dad didn't necessarily want me either but had little choice.
I was raised in a small terraced house without double glazing, central heating, duvets, colour TV, holidays, cars etc. Meals were small with bread and butter to bulk it out (something I still do to this day) a special treat would have been half a mars bar each. Life was pretty shit. Why did I write all that? Well to point out that my DD, my beautiful Angel, is told everyday how proud I am of her, how much I love her, how I'd do anything for her nd how, no matter how old she gets, how big she grows, daddy will crawl over broken glass and barbed wore just to give her a hug if she was crying. Shell never have everything she wants, but I'll have nothing if it means she can have everything she needs.

Making a child feel loved, protected and cared for job 1 of a parent, nothing else matters. I could have lived with nothing growing up if there was love in the house, having nothing with out love is lonely, cold, depressing and not something my, or any other child, should ever have to experience.

TitusAndromedon Sun 23-Oct-16 22:40:34

I was an only child growing up, and I certainly knew that my parents loved me unconditionally. I was told frequently that I was loved, and they often praised me and talked positively about me to other people. At 34, my dad continues to tell me how proud he is of me.

I did go through difficult periods in my relationships with my parents. When I was a teenager they went to some parenting seminars run by a guy called Jim Fay. This was in America. He was big on natural consequences, and he promoted talking to teenagers calmly to stop things escalating. I ended up reading his books as well. It kind of drove me crazy, but it worked, and I think I was able to push boundaries safely because I was more aware of consequences, rather than afraid of some theoretical punishment.

The most important thing I remember was my parents telling me that, if I was ever out and things got dangerous or I couldn't get myself home or whatever, I could always call them. They made it clear that they would rather I call than put myself at risk. I ended up in that kind of situation when I was nineteen, and sure enough my dad came and got me. I'd been at someone's house and her mom got very drunk and aggressive, and it was all really uncomfortable. I got home and went straight to my mom to hug her and thank her for being the kind of mom she was. We'd had a difficult time over previous months, but I knew she would always love and support me and would never have put me in that kind of awkward situation. She died very suddenly three weeks later, but I think it is significant that I have never once questioned how much she loved me.

DavidPuddy Sun 23-Oct-16 22:41:30

I have never doubted for a moment that my parents love me to the extent that I never even thought about it until I had a child myself and realised just how much they do. Their love is as much a given as the fact that the sun will rise in the morning and now I am very grateful to them.

No negative consequences I can think of.

I don't think it is bound in to levels of praise. How much a parent praises you is not directly correlated to how much they love you.

Ohyesiam Sun 23-Oct-16 23:12:16

Just in response to people seeking praise in adulthood as they got used to it in childhood
I felt very in insecure growing up in my family and I sought praise right up to middle age, so maybe it's just something some people do.

golfmonkey Mon 24-Oct-16 09:13:09

Yes, I was always loved and secure. Parents could never be played off against one another - they were very consistent with their rules (very strict!) and always consulted each other about decisions. Mum was always open about the birds and the bees and periods etc from an early age (but in a very factual way) and I knew I could talk to her about embarrassing problems. We were finincially secure (both parents worked full time, but only weekdays and term times) and went on one holiday a year but weren't really rich and knew the value of money. We didn't ever get things because we just wanted them...we would either need them or would have to wait a bit. We spent lots of family time at weekends going for walks etc which we moaned about constantly (have 1 sibling). They always encouraged us to do well at school and lots of activities but didn't push us to continue things we didn't enjoy (except academic stuff!). They told us we were bright, hard working, good looking etc.

Negatives - they were strict and so was only allowed 30 mins of tv a day, had to go to bed on time even if all the other kids in he street were playing out, so I resented them for that sometimes. They were really strict that we had good manners and we couldn't be 'shy' as that was rude (though not a negative in the long run!).

I was praised often for good work but always had poor self.confidence even as a child. think that was a character trait as I have only just learned to take a compliment. Equally I was told off /smacked for bad behaviour (though not for doing badly at school etc). I was always brought up to be an independent person, with the idea it would be awful to have to rely.on a man finincially.

I also never.thought of my parents as my friends. Sounds silly, but I think this really helped make me secure. They didn't expect me to like any or all of their parenting decisions but often reminded me that they were my parents and not anybody elses. I do feel that a lot of parents want their kids to 'like' them and be their friends. However friends can fall out, get moody, and You don't always know where you stand with them.

Orsono Tue 25-Oct-16 23:15:21

I think that growing up in a secure, emotionally healthy environment actually produces the opposite of 'key moments' in your memory. It isn't specific events that create that environment, it's all the million everyday moments that you might not remember specifically afterwards but that add up to security. I certainly know that I grew up in a secure and unconditionally loving home, but I was thinking recently that I don't specifically remember a time when my mum hugged me (she died when I was in my early twenties.) I have the knowledge that she did hug me, often, but I don't have the memory of a particular instance of this happening because it was such an every day occurance. I guess that's reassuring, because it means to create a loving environment, you don't need to worry about engineering special moments to stick in a child's memory - you just need to love them and do small things that show it.

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