Feeling Grounded and Secure in Early Years

Emotional Literacy teachers grounded secure Early Years

The degree of feeling grounded and secure is established throughout our early years. By about the age of five, we are reaching a vital stage of development. By then, we have likely built the foundations on which we can become a part of this world in every sense. We instinctively seek to relate and interact with the outside from a firm base point.

Here are just a few concepts that are central to creating that foundation:

Grounding    Earth    Body    Physical

Home    Roots    Discipline    Foundation    Stillness


But for many people, these aspects continue to challenge them throughout their entire lives. Naturally, our parental and  family relationships in the context of the wider home environment are key factors, but how do they actually shape our underlying experience?

Becoming Grounded and Secure

To be – to feel happy and secure in who we are – we all need roots that are deep and solid. We also need a strong, healthy body and a stability in our relationships. These enable us to relate to the outside world – particularly in how we create or access a livelihood.

If a plant or tree is to grow strong, it needs to establish its roots in rich and fertile soil. Just as roots grown downwards, we also instinctively move our attention and energy downwards: into our guts, into the base of our spine – and down into our legs and feet.

Our gut and spine areas relate to our adrenal glands – that are an integral part of our “Fight-Flight” survival/defence mechanism.

From an early age, we therefore need to see that our survival needs are met in a balanced and direct way. In turn – we come to create a feeling of trust in the world. We learn that living in a body that is well-fed, loved and cared for is good to live in.

The Right To Be

The ability to express ones needs – The Right To Be – creates a strong rooted basis for life. To ignore this is to continually revert back into a survival consciousness.

Pain or trauma in early life – whatever form it takes – teaches us to override and ignore our body’s needs.

Hence, the child becomes becomes distracted – unable to be still – as he/she mentally and physically pulls their energy up away from the base, through other parts of their body. This is because we feel the pain through our base area – our spine, our guts.

The effect is to literally pull up ones own roots – resulting in none or little growth – a crucial element at this early stage.

Early Years Can Last a Lifetime…

Traumatic or unreconciled experiences can manifest themselves in familiar patterns – sometimes, throughout an entire lifetime. Such patterns can include a frequent feeling of fear; a deep-seated reaction to a perceived threat to our survival – even when there is no actual threat.

Being “uprooted” also commonly results in a lack of boundaries – perhaps not being able to say “no” or lacking the self-discipline to achieve a goal.


Understanding and working with four central elements is the key to effective Grounding. We will look at these in the next CoolFire Emotional Literacy for Teachers blog.


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The Adventures of Tommy the Tree


Early Years Emotional Literacy Teachers Grounded Rooted


Early Years forms an intrinsic part of the CoolFire holistic approach to Emotional Literacy, positive mental health and wellbeing – featuring workshops, classwork and fun activities for three to five year olds.


Early Years Emotional Literacy Teachers Grounded Rooted

Feeling grounded and secure in Early Years is at the heart of the CoolFire Approach – and you can follow the Adventures of Tommy the Tree in a 1-hour workshop packed full of colourful characters who guide their audience through a mix of easy to follow exercises and routines that are an integral part of the story.


Early Years Emotional Literacy Teachers Grounded RootedTommy the Tree is far too young and active to be a “boring old tree” – so we see him having fun in an unfolding adventure with his friends Fergus Frog, Doodledog, Moxey Mouse and Holly Hen. But this gets Tommy into all sorts of problems – and eventually, he wants to learn to be a tree – to put his roots down once again and feel happy and secure.

Early Years Emotional Literacy Teachers Grounded RootedFor further details, contact Dave Read









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