The 5 Basic Needs of a Child, What children need from their parents? – All children have five basic needs. Understanding what they are will help you raise successful, happy children.
What are the 5 Basic Needs of a Child?
Similar to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, some parenting facilitators, including Singapore’s “Focus on the Family” program are teaching parents the importance of understanding the 5 basic needs of a child in order to parent more affectively. The five basic needs of a child are: acceptance, affection, attention, affirmation, and accountability.
What Children Need from their Parents?
In order for children to feel secure, they must understand that they are loved and accepted unconditionally by their parents. This requires parents to be non-judgemental and to avoid comparing them with other children, including peers and siblings, as tempting as this might be.
Children benefit from knowing that their parents love them and they are special just by being their son or daughter, not because of any athletic prowess, academic achievement, or other accomplishment. Positive reassurance and encouragement not connected to external achievements helps children to develop a sense of security.
Parents show affection in different ways. While some parents are natural huggers or cuddlers, not every parent, or child, is as comfortable with physical affection. Regardless of how, parents need to show affection to their children. This is how children know that they are cared for and loved. Affection can be in the form of quality time spent talking, reading, writing, or just playing. Affection fosters feelings of contentment, security, and acceptance.
Whether it’s movie night, dinner together, or some other form of quality time with a parent, children need positive attention from their Parents. Without positive attention, behavioral problems may increase. Although children will typically gain negative attention for negative behavior, for most this is preferable to no attention at all (being neglected or ignored). When parents are not present or do not respond, negatively or positively, the behaviors may extend to school or the community.
While a parent’s presence in the child’s environment is important, simply being present is not always enough. It is important for child and parent to engage in some meaningful activities together on a regular basis. This is defined differently in every family, and may just be bedtime conversations, sharing a read-aloud, or attending a sporting event. When parent’s make themselves available for their children and give them periods of undivided attention, children learn they are important and loved.
According to Merriam-Webster, an affirmation is a positive assertion. Being present and providing attention reinforces a child’s understanding that he is important in his parent’s eyes. Positive affirmations such as “I’m proud of you,” and “Wow, you worked really hard!” are examples of authentic praise. In order to help children develop confidence and feelings of self esteem and self efficacy, it is important that parental affirmations be honest and not based on any one skill or strength.
Ideally when the first four basic needs are met, children will naturally take responsibility for their actions and learn, through example, how to make good choices about their behavior and face the consequences, good or bad, or their actions. Holding children accountable helps them to become more responsible later in life and more vested in the decision making process.
Additionally, parents need to make sure they are modeling this behavior by taking accountability for their own actions as well. In this way, parents teach that mistakes are a learning experience and not necessarily a bad thing.
Meeting Your Child’s Needs
Whether or not you subscribe to the theory of a 5 basic needs of a child, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, or another developmental/parenting model, most would agree that the basic tenets are the same. Raising responsible, confident, caring children is every parent’s goal and one that most parents, through love and modeling, will hopefully achieve regardless of the model they follow. So, What Children Need from Their Parents? Above is The 5 basic needs of a child you can learn.
References of The 5 Basic Needs of a Child
- Focus on the Family: “Parenting with Confidence” workshop information
- Maslow, Abraham. Hierarchy of Needs: A Theory of Human Motivation
- Much of the information contained in this article is based on the author’s best friend experience as a parent of two and an elementary school guidance counselor