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Everyone has emotional needs but sometimes we are not sure about our child’s emotional needs.

By looking at out child’s behaviour we can be more in tune with his emotional needs and a good
way to start is by looking at his personality. Try to think about each child as an individual,
his likes and dislikes and how he behaves in different situations. Is he shy and quiet or loud
and outgoing?

By thinking about this you will be able to respond to suit his individuality, because all children
are different, even those being brought up in the same family by the same parents.

The following are some tips that may help to identify our children’s needs:

• Showing our love with warm and gentle touch, hugs and kisses we can fulfil their first need, which is to be loved. Some children will like to be hugged more than others
and it is important to respect this.
• Showing interest in their activities and being pleased
with achievements and improvements and not comparing them with their siblings and others will also respect their individuality.
• Acknowledging their strengths will give them belief in themselves. A ‘can do’ feeling enhances their progress.
• Giving lots of attention will show them that they are
valued as well as being loved. Children want to please
and your praise and attention will make them feel good.
• Allowing your child to make choices, for example,
about what clothes to wear shows them that you trust
them as well.
• Having a routine helps them to feel safe and secure because they can anticipate what will happen next,
however the routine does not need to be too rigid
or inflexible.
• Clear boundaries and limits will help to keep them feeling secure and give their lives structure and stability. “Allowing children to make choices (within limits) and to live with
the consequences is a respectful, effective method of discipline”.
(Michael Quinn Director Family Caring Trust 2003)

Click here for our feature - 'Fighting between Siblings'
Click here
for our feature - 'Encouraging good behaviour'
Click here for our feature - 'Link between emotions and behaviour'

Frances Byatt-Smith RN RHV BA (Hons) Psychology.

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