The Five Critical Needs of Children
1) Every person, whether an adult or a child, needs to feel respected.
- Examine whether you’re treating your children in a positive and respectful way or whether you’re treating them with rudeness by lying to them, demeaning them, or not listening to them. Before you respond to your child, ask yourself: “How would I respond if I was speaking to an adult?”
2) Children appreciate being made to feel important.
- Children need to have a sense of value, control, and usefulness. They need to feel that they are somebody. Find a middle ground between being protective and allowing your child to explore the world. Be willing to listen and let them problem solve or make decisions. Let your children take responsibility for some things.
3) All kids desire and need to be accepted for who they are.
- Children have a right to their own feelings, desires, and ideas and they deserve to be recognized. This doesn’t mean that you have to agree or disagree with everything, it simply means that you acknowledge them. Avoid overreacting, being overly critical, or encouraging kids to suppress their feelings. Instead, listen to them and praise the things you like.
4) Everyone likes to be included, but children especially need to feel included.
- Children need to be brought in and made to feel a part of things. They need to feel included in family activities and events. Spend time each day sharing what each person in the family is doing, try to make the kids a part of decisions being made, and find activities that the whole family can do together.
5) Most importantly, children must feel secure.
- Children need to be in an environment and have relationships that are consistent and caring. They need to know they are loved no matter what and that you have their best interests at heart. Keep this in mind with your interaction with your kids, your discipline, and your relationships with others.
Becoming a Student of My Own Behavior
- Which of my action today were positive in regard to my child/children’s 5 critical needs?
- Which of my actions today were negative in meeting the five critical needs of my child/children?
- What does this tell me about myself
- If I were doing today over again, what would I do differently?
- What will I change or try to do tomorrow?