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When you think of your child’s needs, what comes to mind? While children do have physical needs, like food, clothing, shelter, and exercise, they have emotional needs as well, and those should never be overlooked.

While taking care of our children physically by ensuring they have the right nutrition, clothing on their backs, and a warm home to sleep in are all important, it is just as important if not more important to ensure their emotional needs are addressed as well. Think of it this way: we are our children’s emotional support network and emotional coaches. For them to flourish as people, their needs need to be met fully. Here are 8 emotional needs of your child.

1. Routine.

A lot of parents hear the word routine and immediately cringe because the thought of implementing a routine when there isn’t any is daunting. However, children need structure. They already feel extremely powerless in their lives, because they are small and we are calling the shots. When you provide structure and routine, your children grow to feel adapted and comfortable with the boundaries and limitations of being a child, because it gives them a sense of control.

2. Safety.

For your child to develop properly, they need to have safety and security in their home. They are entirely dependent on you but they also need to explore. This means that it is our job to keep them safe and provide them with a secure place to roam and play.

3. Discipline.

While children may fight against you when you try to discipline them, they need it. I am not saying to use harsh punishments, because those quite frankly do not work and do more harm than good. What I am saying is that you need to help teach your child how to live with integrity and make good choices. Additionally, your kids need boundaries.

4. Respect.

Every human being on this planet deserves to be respected, even tiny humans. While you shouldn’t put them on a pedestal, you should most certainly treat them the way you would like to be treated.

5. Acceptance.

Kids long to feel accepted. You don’t have to accept bad behavior, but you should most certainly make them feel like a part of your clan. Because they are but don’t assume that they feel that way, make sure of it.

6. Unconditional love.

Unconditional love is so important. Never place conditions on the love you have for your child. Yes, they will upset you sometimes, but be wary not to make them feel like you being upset with them is the end of the line.

7. Control.

While you cannot give your child control all the time, it’s important to allow them some things that they have power over. Remember, they are already feeling pretty powerless as children, so giving them even an ounce of control over things helps immensely.

8. Support.

When your child needs you to support them, provide that. Let them know that you always have their back, so they feel confident enough in themselves.