Six Basic Needs of Children, Adolescents and Adults

It doesn’t matter what stage of life you are in, everyone has the same basic needs. These needs are physical, emotional, social, intellectual, spiritual, and creative. When all of these needs are satisfied, you’ll discover that your life is brimming with joy and good feelings. You’ll find your self-esteem at its highest peak whenever you are fulfilled within your daily life and activities.

Physical Needs: These needs are the basics. The need for air, water, sleep, exercise, and sex.

Emotional Needs: This is the need for praise, love, trust, security, feeling OK inside, and self-fulfilled.

Social Needs: This is the need for companionship and friendship. This is usually gained from a peer group.

Intellectual Needs: This is the need for challenging thoughts, reading, learning something new, and mind stimulation.

Spiritual Needs: This is the quiet need inside that wants to know and believe in a higher spiritual power than ourselves. This need increases our awareness and sensitivity to the greater aspects of life.

Creative Needs: This is the need to express yourself in any manner you desire. This can include the arts, dancing, acting, and writing – almost anything that allows you to feel imaginative and inspired.

All of the above needs are usually a part of every human’s life. All of us want to have these needs met in life. Having these needs met increases our enjoyment of living and creates a healthy body and soul. So how do parents fulfill these needs in their growing children? The first way is to become aware that the needs of a child are the same as yours. Being empathetic to your child at all times creates a bond that nurtures the needs of your child. For example, whenever your child wants to create or make something, allow your attention to center on your child and give him whatever you think will help to inspire your child’s creativity.

My children loved to create drawings on large pieces of paper. I helped them do this by supplying them with the all the paper, crayons, paint, brushes, etc. necessary to stimulate their minds. Then I let them go to it! It was exciting to watch my child create a masterpiece of their imagination. Their artwork was sweet, beautiful and full of ingenuity. I then posted the artwork all around the house to show to their siblings and guests. As a parent, it was my goal to communicate with my child that I truly understood and valued his desires and feelings to be creative. I empowered my child to become all that he can be at that moment. This process immediately shows your child that his opinions and thoughts are valued.

By empowering your child, you are allowing your child to take ownership of their feelings, take responsibility for their behavior, make decisions that help them grow, follow through with commitments and most importantly, to become aware of the needs and feelings of others. You are giving your child the chance to experience success and understand his own uniqueness. It’s rewarding for a child, adolescent and adult to have recognition and respect. By empowering yourself, as well as your child, you are fostering basic needs that truly make you glow inside and out.

At different times in our lives, we are capable of doing certain things. Stay tuned to where your child’s capabilities are during his childhood and supply the above needs according to his stage in life. In fact, developmental stages continue right into old age. When a child’s needs are met, his discomforts and fears are quickly removed and he finds that his life is truly a safe and fun place to be. This feeling leads to a child that learns to trust his environment and each successive stage of development.

Know that meeting these six needs in your child’s life is not hard to do at any stage. Getting involved in your child’s exploration of his life doesn’t take money, but it does take thoughtfulness and time. Providing these needs throughout your child’s lifetime allows your child to go through his stages of life with a healthy regard for himself and for society. It encourages your child’s autonomy and capacity to do more with is his lifetime. Who can ask for more?

Copyright © 2006 by Linda Milo and Empowering Parents Now. All rights reserved.