This may seem cliché to say, but I think as parents, most of us want to do the best we can. We want to give our kids what they need, but I think sometimes we forget about just being “simple.” For instance, we may have these complex ideas about what our kids should get from us, and in turn, the simpler things are sometimes neglected. That being said, I want to present 5 things kids really need.
1.Opportunities to explore their passions and who they are
Give your child plenty of opportunities to figure out who they are. For example, once my daughter showed an interest in swimming, we spent more time at the pool. I also put her in swim lessons. And come to find out, she loves it!
2.Undivided attention (sometimes…) and our time
Sometimes we get so caught in our day-to-day activities, that we may “half pay attention” to what our children say. And children definitely pick up on this. Yes, we can’t always give our children undivided attention, but try to make an effort to really listen to your child when you can. It helps them feel more valued.
Unconditional love means that our children are loved and valued for who they are, not for their behaviors or accomplishments. On the other hand, unconditional love does mean we just let our children do as they wish.
Unconditional love is related to enhanced self-esteem, so it does have an impact on our child’s long-term well-being.
I don’t think a child is ever too young to be given some level of respect. For example, my 4-year-old was having difficulties with one of her preschool teachers. My daughter has been having trouble with her handwriting (I think some of it has been a confidence issue), and I don’t believe she knew how to ask for help. That being said, she’d rush through the work. Her teacher would send her back to try again, but I don’t believe the teacher had the time to sit down, encourage her, and help her through it. We’d get notes home about how our daughter was not following directions and not listening. However, she had never had this problem with any previous teachers at the same school. So, I sought out information from both the school and my daughter. I concluded that something wasn’t clicking between my daughter and the teacher, so I sat my daughter down and asked her what she wanted to do (We had moved her to this particular teacher from a previous one, so she’d be going to school 5 days a week rather than 3). She told me she wanted to go back to her previous teacher. I wanted to show her that I respected how she felt and her opinion as well, so we went with it, and she is now going back to her previous teacher.
When we give our children respect, we are showing them that we value them for who they are, what they think, and what they need. We don’t always have to like their behaviors and their choices, but we can respect our children for the person they are. And when we do that, this helps them build self-esteem and confidence.
5.Opportunities to be themselves
Part of this involves allowing children to explore who they are (such as their passions) as well as giving them unconditional love. Better self-awareness is related to better self-esteem. You can help this process along by talking with your child about their likes and dislikes, in addition to strengths and weaknesses. When children are allowed to be themselves and have better self-awareness, they are likely to be more resilient and advocate for themselves.
Final Thoughts on Things Kids Need
Children need our time and attention, so they feel valued and loved. They also need time to pursue their interest and who they are. In doing so, they are more likely to have better self-esteem and self-awareness. Thus, we can build well-adjusted children by doing the above-mentioned things.