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    10 Things Every Child Needs

    Every parent wants to give their children what they need when they need it. Yet parents are often overwhelmed by the latest research in early childhood development or education. We may have questions like “What does my child need the most?” “What will give my child a head start in life?” “How can I give my child a better future?” It’s time we truly listen to the heartbeat of our children instead.

    Dear Mommy and Daddy, I really need:
    1. Mommy-and-Daddy Love (Parents in healthy marriage) I get upset when I see you quarrel. Please put your relationship as a priority because I feel secure, happy and emotionally confident when I see you love each other.
    2. Hold-Me-Close Love (Security) I may be growing up and may not look as cute as when I was a baby but I still need your hugs and touch, your protection and presence.
    3. Fit-Me-Into-the-Family Love (Belonging) I like toys and gifts but I’ll only play with it for a while and lose interest quickly. Please give me a sense of family and belonging by creating family moments and memories through family traditions and celebrations.
    4. Show-Me-Tell-Me Love (Guidance and role modeling) My life experience may not be as much as what you have but I’m eager to learn and learn quickly from what I see. I don’t quite understand when you talk about values and morals. I need you to show me.
    5. Play-with-Me Love (Play) I know you have a lot of things to do and you don’t like mess. But I only have one childhood and I learn through play. Please don’t try to make me grow up so fast. I like it when you laugh, smile and play with me.
    6. Crazy-About-Me Love (Affirmation) What you say about me matters a lot to me. Your words can either hurt me deeply or build me up. I need to know you love me no matter how I perform in school, what I do or say.
    7. Give-Me-Boundaries Love (Discipline) Please don’t label me as “lazy,” “naughty” or some other name. I have emotions too! Sometimes I’m tired, scared, or angry and feel overwhelmed by the new things around me. Even though I may defy, please give me some limits and boundaries. It gives me a sense of control over my life and helps me know what I can and cannot do.
    8. Value-Me-For-Me Love (Respect) I’m not the same as you or my brother and sister. I gain great confidence when I have the freedom and space to grow in my own unique way. Please don’t yell or shout at me, or complain about me to your friends.
    9. Let-Me-Grow-Up Love (Independence) You don’t need to do everything for me. Do let me fail sometimes and teach me how to learn from it. Coach me on how to make wise decisions on my own, so that when I grow up, I am prepared for life. Rather than telling me, ask me questions so that I learn how to think.
    10. Give-Me-Hope Love (Hope) The future seems scary to me. I hear a lot of negative talk and I’m scared. Teach me the meaning of life, and what it means to be grateful and the secret of contentment. I want to look forward to your lasting legacy and passing that on to my own children.
    Adapted from What Every Child Needs by Elisa Morgan and Carol Kuykendall.
    2012 Focus on the Family Singapore. All rights reserved. International copyright secured.
    Last edited by bschew; 10-02-2012 at 12:19 PM.

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