Many parents are concerned with raising children and are often looking for parenting tips. Some of the best parenting advice focuses on the area of child psychology. We will be exploring the 5 critical emotional needs of children in our coming posts. Let’s explore the first emotional need, respect.
One of the critical emotional needs of children is to feel respected. For that to happen, they need to be treated in a courteous, thoughtful, attentive and civil manner. They are individuals that deserve the the same courtesy and consideration as others.
One of the best ways for children to learn about respect is to feel what it’s like to be treated respectfully and to observe their parents and other adults treating one another the same way. When we do not treat our child with respect, it can lower their self-esteem and cause them to become rebellious and to act disrespectfully toward us as parents as well as others.
At Sparkles! our opinions, values, attitudes, and actions, matter to children. Many people don’t think of children as having the same needs as adults. Therefore, they do not realize that what they say and how they say it, has a significant emotional effect on children. For example, it is just as easy and takes the same amount of time to say, “I’m sorry honey. I don’t have time right now,” rather than “Can’t you see I’m busy? Stop bothering me!” With children, a simple act of courtesy can go a long way.
If we want our child and the children we care for to grow up feeling respected and to treat others with respect we need to:
- avoid sarcasm, belittling, yelling; we need to keep anger and impatience to a minimum
- avoid lying
- listen more and talk less
- command less and suggest and request more
- learn how to say “please,” “thank you,” “excuse me” “I’m sorry”— yes, even to children
- become conscious of our mistakes, willing to admit them and ready to make corrections
These behaviors in us, as parents and teachers, will help us cultivate these values in our children. If your toddler is feeding herself and making a mess, getting food on her bib and clothes, do you grab the spoon and yell, “Stop that, you’re making a big mess! Here I’ll feed you.”? Or, do you put your arm around her and say, “Isn’t that great. You’re trying to feed yourself.”
In the next post in our series we will discuss the emotional need to feel Important. Until then, consider this…When you were a child, were you constantly interrupted before you could finish your thoughts? What did that feel like?
At Sparkles! we share similar goals…respecting children and teaching them to be self-confident, independent, responsible, thinking, caring, and civic-minded individuals.
-Best, Ms. Christine
For more information or to order a copy of Dr. Gerald Newmark’s book “How To Raise Emotionally Healthy Children” visit www.emotionallyhealthychildren.org