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As parents, we will spend much of our time trying to figure out how to prepare our kids for a great life. There are the more obvious needs like food, water, and exercise- but what about the deeper needs that will shape our kids into their best and happiest selves?

When it comes to your child’s needs, they require a lot more than quality rest and good food. Those things are a great start, but your child has social and emotional needs as well. And if you want a child that is not only surviving – but thriving, then you need to attend to all of their needs, holistically. In this article, we will explore all of your child’s needs, so that you can ensure they are happy, healthy, and successful in life.

1. Quality time.

Spending quality time with your child is of the utmost importance. When we say quality time, that means no phones, no interruptions- just you and your child communicating, catching up, and sharing precious moments. This is so important because these moments are what set your child up for success in all areas of their life.

2. Consistency.

Children do best when they know what to expect. Think about it: their lives are already mostly out of their control. They feel powerless, and knowing what to expect gives them a sense of control. When there is no structure and no consistency, that is so much added chaos to their worlds. Children thrive with structure because it teaches them time management, sets them up for healthy habits, and it also ensures they will get proper rest.

3. Security.

Your children need to feel safe and as though they do not need to worry about their basic needs being met. If their needs aren’t met in their formative years, there could be consequences that last throughout their lives.

4. Affection.

As humans, we are physically built to need affection. Not only does physical touch improve your child’s sleep, but it also supports brain development. Children who were followed from infancy until adulthood and who had affectionate mothers were less anxious, emotionally distressed, and less likely to be hostile.

5. Emotional support/coaching.

Kids are not born with the ability to express and manage their emotions. They rely on us to help them do that. The most effective way to do that is to focus less on punishing them when they are acting out due to their complex emotions, and focus more on showing them how to express themselves healthily.

6. Discipline.

Discipline does not mean punishment. Discipline is teaching your child the difference between right and wrong, and that is not done through punishment. That is done through working with your child and helping them to understand the consequences of their actions in a common sense and empathetic way.

7. Health care.

Health care is important because if your child’s health needs are not being attended to, nothing else is going to matter. If your child gets their health needs taken care of, they will have better physical and emotional health.

8. Good role models.

Children pick up after the people that are around them, whether they intend to or not. You may tell your child to do as you say, but they are going to observe you, and they are going to pick up your habits and the habits of those that they are around. Ensure that you have good role models who can model respect, responsibility, compassion, empathy, and integrity for your child.