The personal needs of our children, how to deal with them

As mothers and fathers we can make a list of all those things that we think our children may need:

  • Feel valued
  • Feel loved
  • Feel protected
  • Feel capable
  • Feel independent
  • Feel comforted
  • Feel empowered
  • And we could continue like this with many, many more …

Now, the most important thing is that throughout the development of our children, throughout the life cycle they will need such disparate things that they seem to be opposed, we all know the things that make our children happy and that make our children happy. everyone, but when should we give one and when another?

For example:

  • Is it better to protect him from everything or to leave him free to learn?
  • Is it better to continually give him kisses and hugs or to keep a certain distance?
  • Is it better to value everything he does as great or to encourage him to do it better and better?
  • Is it better to tell him at all times how to solve his problems or to let him solve them himself?
  • etc.

It is difficult, right? It seems the answer is somewhere in between, yes and how do you do that?

We can also say to ourselves well, sometimes they will need more of one than another, there does not have to be one and not the other.

That’s right, throughout development we find that the different tasks that our children are going to perform need an adaptation on our part, they will need different things depending on the evolutionary moment in which they are


  • A young child who starts school has to have, on the one hand, the assurance that his parents are there, that they do not leave and are close to him and, on the other hand, he needs to separate from his parents to start doing things for himself.
  • An adolescent needs to have limits because taking responsibility for himself at that age is a very hard task and, on the other hand, he needs independence to begin to develop as a private individual who only faces tasks.

Every day, how many times do we put these mechanisms in place to give our children what they need?

We are giving them something that they are going to have to implement later: we are teaching them to adapt to the different tasks that they are going to face throughout development.

Implementing one or the other strategy is also an act of imagination, as parents we have to manage to give them what they need while always valuing that we do not have to stop being affectionate to be detached, or stop being controlling parents to be parents who want their children to become independent.

There are no formulas for when or how, although there are tricks on how to start the two even if they oppose each other.



We are going to see a daily situation and from this assess the needs of our children:

Daniel comes home from school crying, someone has taken his watch from him.

What things are important in assessing Daniel’s needs at this time?

  • Daniel’s age (tasks he is now facing in his development).
  • Your history of resolving these types of conflicts (how have you managed so far in these situations or similar?
  • Knowing what happened, with this it is about:
    • Have a story to act on.
    • Make known of the situation the strategies that worked and those that did not.
    • Know what difficulties there were in which the strategies already learned did not work.

After all this we can ask ourselves:


Well, this is the working script, now we are going to give some alternatives to each of these points:



In what moments of development can Daniel find himself?

  • He arrives at school, his first day … he is able to …
    • Separate from your parents.
    • What else? …
  • Primary 4… he is capable of…
    • To say no.
    • What else? …
  • 6th grade … he is capable of …
    • Take responsibility for your own tasks.
    • What else? …
  • Teenager … he is capable of …
    • Become independent in many ways.
    • What else? …
  • etc.

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Depending on your story, you will know or have some needs or others


  • It may be a child who has never faced a situation like this alone …
  • You may have experiences that the elderly constantly tell you that there is only one way to solve things, and that is with anger …
  • He may have always been the oldest of those around him and now he enters a senior college …


How to know the needs of our children?


  • The development tasks they are currently carrying out
  • His story.
  • Know what happened.


(In the example above):

  • Show him how many times similar things happened and he or she managed
  • Give him alternatives where he or she can get by without our collaboration.
  • Assess how many times you have done things for yourself.
  • Say how many times we have needed you and that without your help.

Why, sometimes, they do not accept our solutions or alternatives?

It is easy to say that we are not inside the heads of others, and yet we continue to think that our solutions to what our daughters and sons tell us are adequate.

We have all come across well-intentioned advice, which either assumes that we have already implemented what they propose or that we know that this does not work for us.

The alternative that always works is:

Support, make your daughter or son feel that you are there for what they need, that whatever happens, you will accompany them on their way.

And of course, you ask him … what does he need to feel good at that moment?

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