The 5 Needs Kids Want Parents to Fill

#5 - Affirmation

The past four posts, we looked at the first 4 of the 5 needs kids want parents to fill: love, affection, and a happy home life; rules/boundaries; independence/being trusted; patience and understanding. Now we will look at the fifth need: affirmation.

A child should know that “I’m someone who counts” — “I’m a valued human being.” The more affirmation teens get at home, the less they will need to seek it elsewhere.

And dads, we have a critical affirming role to play, particularly with teenage daughters as attested to in this excerpt from a teen girl’s letter. “Have you ever heard of a father who won’t talk to his daughter? My father doesn’t seem to know I’m alive. In my whole life, he has never said he loves me or given me a goodnight kiss unless I asked him to. I think the reason he ignores me is because I’m so boring.”

Here we see our father power, exercised in a harmful way. The dad didn’t pay attention to her, and the daughter concluded that she was dull, unintelligent and generally boring.

So dad, show enthusiastic, genuine interest in your child’s’ activities. Approve and take pride in their accomplishments.

It’s really a pretty straightforward formula: you show interest in them, and they will begin to show interest in you.

Dad, you now know what five basic needs your child wants you to fill.

As Nike reminds us: Just do it!


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