The Five Critical Needs of Children

Yes, debt can be daunting.  When most families find themselves struggling with debt or working to resolve their issues, often when both parents are working and the day to day just seems to be a grind, it’s important to take a step back every once in a while and truly take stock in what is important in life.

Most financial situations can be overcome and eventually, if you stick to a plan, will go away in time.  But while you are working hard to bring more balance to your financial life, if you have kids, you should remember that they are along for the ride and have needs too.

Gerald Newmark, Ph.D. and author of How to Raise Emotionally Healthy Children suggest that there are five critical needs of children.  Throughout your child’s life – irrespective of their age – he or she has five critical needs that will help them to develop into an emotionally healthy child.  Being sensitive to these needs will help your child develop into an emotionally healthy one.

1.      The Need to Feel Respected – Children need to be treated in a courteous, thoughtful, attentive, and civil manner.  When children are not treated with respect, it can lower their self-esteem.

2.      The Need to Feel Important – Feeling important for a child reinforces they are useful, have value, and have power, if children do not feel important, they may seek negative ways to feel important by becoming rebellious and hostile.

3.      The Need to Feel Accepted – Children have a right to their own feelings, opinions, ideas, concerns, wants, and needs – not to be shaped in the image of what parents believe their ideal child should be like.  Ignoring a child’s feelings or opinions affects communications in a negative way and weakens relationships.

4.      The Need to Feel Included – Children need to feel they belong, are connected to others, and have a sense of community.  It’s important for parents to create opportunities for their children to join clubs, teams, and participate in organized activities in school and in their neighborhood.  People who do things together feel closer to one another.

5.      The Need to Feel Secure – Creating a secure environment where people show affection and openly care about on another is important for the well-being of every child.  Differences should be accepted and conflicts should be resolved in a constructive manner.  Children need structure and rules to feel safe and protected.  Without a secure environment, children experience anxiety and insecurity.