Emotional Needs of Children
Emotional Needs of Children
According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, human beings have certain needs that need to get fulfilled in order to be functional. These needs range from basic to more complex. As adults, we can identify and communicate regarding our needs. We can even identify the needs of our children like when they get hungry when they need a change of diapers or clothes when they need to have a bath and get cleaned up. These are all physical needs. Did you know just like adults, children also have emotional needs that they may not be able to ask you for? These needs will shape up against them and make them mentally healthy. It is important to pay attention to these emotional needs to ensure your child stays healthy and happy. We are talking about the Emotional Needs of Children.
Love your kids for who they are and not for what they do. We often unintentionally appreciate or praise kids only when they do something we want or behave according to us. How often do we praise or love them just for being the way they are? Remember to say, ‘you’re so helpful’ or ‘you’re so kind’ or ‘I love you for caring so much about animals’. It is important to let your kids know that you love them no matter what.
Self-confidence and high self-esteem
To boost your child’s self-confidence, you need to understand their insecurities. For example, a child with a speech delay often withdraws and goes quiet in a group of kids as seeing other children talk and play makes them feel bad or under-confident. As parents, we can encourage our children by communicating with them and encouraging them to get better. Sharing their achievements and celebrating their participation and not just wins will help them do better and will instantly raise their confidence. Be honest about your failures as well so they know it’s okay to make mistakes.
Acceptance & Inclusion
We all need acceptance from our families, friends, colleagues, organization,s etc. Acceptance plays a big role in developing children’s emotional health. Let your child know that you accept them the way they are. Include your children in activities.
Playtime is essential for fostering growth and creativity in children. For them, it is just a fun time so let them play! Playing along with them will give you a chance to understand how they think and interact with their environment. Playing monopoly or any board game or even catch in the park can be fun!
It is equally important to understand the need for playmates. Children need their peers around them for learning social skills and also understanding their own strengths and weaknesses.
Make your children just have fun while playing and instill the importance of having fun rather than winning or losing.
Listen more than you talk, talk more than you preach- is my go-to mantra for parents to encourage communication with their children, be it, toddlers, young children, or teenagers. All of us want to be heard and children are no different. By listening to their imaginary stories, a funny incident that happened at school, or even gibberish or sentences that make no sense will encourage that child to talk more and feel heard.
When talking to them, make sure you are talking about feelings and your experiences and not just school or academics. Talking about your feelings will make it easier for them to share theirs with you.
If you are criticizing, remember to criticize behavior and not the child. Avoid saying, ‘You are a bad boy/ girl. Instead say, ‘That was a bad thing you did. Avoid sarcastic remarks and nagging them. Focus on why you expect certain behavior instead.
It’s normal for kids to feel afraid sometimes. All of us are afraid of something at some point in our lives. Fear and anxiety grow out of experiences that we do not understand. If your child has fears that won’t go away and affect their behavior, the first step is to find out what is frightening them. Understand the need to be loving, patient, and reassuring, not critical. Remember: the fear may be very real to the child.
It is you who will be your child’s first window into the world. You hold the key to shaping your child into the best version of themselves. You will not always be responsible for how they turn out but you will definitely be there for the beginning of their chapter. So, make sure you make them feel valued, appreciated, loved, seen, and heard. How you see your child will be the first self-image for them. So why not paint a happy yet imperfect but still equally beautiful picture?