Basic Needs: Five Key Needs of Your Children
Do you know what your children's needs are? Sure, they need things such as shelter and clothing, but what about their emotional needs? According to Ron Hutchcraft, in his book, Five Needs Your Child Must Have Met at Home, there are five needs that your children have that must be met within their home. As a parent, you are key to helping them meet these needs. Hutchcraft provides the following guidelines on helping your children meet these five needs:
A Secure Sense of Self.
According to Hutchcraft, your children need to know that they are unique and special. What you tell your children about themselves will have a great impact on what they become. Focus on their strengths and avoid comparing them to other children. "When we think of pluses in a person, our first tendency is to think of things they do that are good. Actually, we should probably start with things they are. Our strengths come in two categories: personal abilities and personal qualities. The personal qualities are what make you uniquely you."
Answers to Sexual Questions.
Hutchcraft warns, "Too many young people are self-destructing sexually because someone didn't do a parent's job at home... Certainly, preparing them to understand, value, and manage their sexuality must be one of them." Hutchcraft suggests first creating a climate of open communication in your home and then teaching them about sexuality, boundaries and relationships.
Hutchcraft asks this key question: Does your son or daughter feel loved by you? Most parents know they love their kids and think they are being loving parents, but often this love isn't communicated to the children in a way they understand or recognize. One way to show your children love is to be there for them. Try to be there when they wake up in the morning, when they go to bed at night, when they leave and get home from school and during the evening when they want to talk about their day. Unfortunately most parents' schedules don't allow for all of these opportunities, but try to be there for as many as you can each day.
As a parent, you are modeling the concept of authority to your children. And because children need a stable authority, make sure that your parenting and discipline styles are consistent, as well as united with your spouse. And make sure your children clearly understand what you expect of them and what the consequences will be if they break the rules.
Your children also have spiritual needs, and parents are in a unique position to model both a spiritual life and to explain to them the importance of having this spiritual dimension in their lives.
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