Mind and Body

Instilling a Sense of Belonging in Children

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If we belong, we feel included, considered, safe and accountable.

Feeling considered and thought of within the family unit or the friendship group increases our sense of belonging. It can provide feelings of inclusion and make one feel considered, thought of.  This then builds safety and security within children and helps foster resilience and accountability. They learn how to act, adjust and accept.

So, how do we instill these elements of belonging in children?

Positive discussions 

Talk with your child about their thoughts at the time they take place. Birthdays, school days, projects that they complete etc. Assure them that their voice is important and their opinions are welcomed. Instill within them that they are a valued member of the family.

Exposure to different forms of play 

Take the children to different playgrounds, provide access to different games, crafts, forms of entertainment and exercise are all important. Children have differing abilities and interests and they learn their strengths.

Encourage smooth transitions 

Whist the transitions can be challenging from school to home and back again, it’s important to set up routines so that your child can enter ‘school mode’ and not feel the lost connection from home. Repeated good-byes etc.. can challenge children from entering ‘school mode’. Foster the exciting things that they will learn during the day and the friends that they will see and get to play with. Healthy transitions can combat the difficult home to school transition.

Family is US and WE, not ME 

Make meals a happy occasion. Prepare them together, eat them together in the same room (preferably at a table) and talk, talk, talk. playing electronics and not eating together teaches children to rely on self, rather than trying to establish the connections of a family unit. Meal times are a wonderful time for the whole family to catch up, share their days, connect and establish a strong, family unit.


Michael is a licensed social worker, clinical counsellor, supervisor and educator and has a strong desire to help people and a lifelong interest in human behaviour. In Michael's spare time, he loves doting over his rescue puppies Cody and Knodel and growing carnivorous plants.