Do you know your 5 critical emotional needs?

Parents and Caregivers Join to Meet the 5 Critical Needs of Children
from Paige Beatty

In a time of increasing attention to standards and a focus on knowledge and cognitive skills, we continue to hear about a crises of bullying, social isolation, and children unprepared for school in many ways. Last year I attended a panel discussion of kindergarten teachers talking about the skills they wish children had when they entered their classes. These teachers, from a variety of schools and backgrounds, agreed unanimously that the social emotional skills made the biggest difference in school success.

Brittany Quote 2jpgThose of us in early childhood recognize the importance of social emotional development and emotional health. We understand that all learning happens through relationships. So how can we make certain that we are meeting the emotional needs of the children in our care? How can we help families do the same?

In the book How to Raise Emotionally Healthy Children: Meeting the Five Needs of Children…And Parents Too! Gerald Newmark offers insight and tools for just that. The book, although geared towards parents, is applicable to anyone who spends time with children.

Dr. Newmark recognizes that many parents have spent large amounts of time being educated and trained on a variety of topics – but seldom on raising children. Parenting, while based in love and enthusiasm, may at times be hit-or-miss. Dr. Newmark states that childrearing is too important to leave to chance. He encourages parents to be thoughtful about what they do, how they do it, and why they do it. Dr. Newmark advocates for being a professional at parenting – use a set of core values to make conscious decisions about behavior; act in a way that is knowledgeable and systematic; study and change your own behavior (the only thing you actually have control over) when a situation is not what you’d like; and have an experimental attitude.

Every interaction with another person represents an opportunity to connect or disconnect. Connections build positive relationships, which are the foundation for all types of learning and growth, but particularly for social emotional development. Irrespective of the situation or type of interaction, we can work on building connections by focusing on meeting what Dr. Newmark calls the 5 critical needs.

The 5 Critical Emotional Needs are the need to feel:

Respected – I am treated in a courteous, thoughtful, attentive, and civil manner as an individual, deserving of the same courtesy and consideration of others.

Important – I have value, I am useful, I have power, I am somebody.

Accepted – I am an individual in my own right. I have a right to my own feelings, opinions, ideas, concerns, wants, and needs.

Included – I belong, am a part of things, connected to other people, with a sense of community.

Secure – I am safe and protected. I’m in a positive environment where people care about one another and show it, people express themselves and others listen, differences are accepted and conflicts resolved constructively. There are structures, limits, and consequences.

With these needs met, children – and adults! – are more likely to: respect themselves and others, believe in themselves and others, have a positive attitude towards life and others, develop and use self-discipline, and develop healthy relationships.

Taking Action

At our Center, we took a dual approach to using this book – distributing it to parents for their edification and use at home with their children, and distributing it to staff not only for use in their work with young children, but also in their daily work with one another.

Reproduced from The Virginia Association for Early Childhood Education (VAECE)
Viewpoint Newsletter

How to Raise Emotionally Healthy Children is available in paperback and ebook in both English and Spanish.

***Visit us at The Children’s Project, LIKE us on Facebook, or follow us on on Twitter!***

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LOVE is an action word

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In How to Raise Emotionally Healthy Children, Dr. Gerald Newmark defines the five critical emotional needs of children – and parents, too – as:

    The need to feel INCLUDED
    The need to feel RESPECTED
    The need to feel IMPORTANT
    The need to feel ACCEPTED
    The need to feel SECURE

Perhaps you have asked yourself, “What about love? Why hasn’t love been included as one of the five critical needs of children?” It was omitted purposefully, not because it lacks importance—on the contrary, it is extremely important—but rather because the word “love” has lost some of its force and meaning through overuse and misuse.

In many cases, saying the words “I love you” has become trite, meaningless, or confusing. In a scene from the movie Nuts, a conversation takes place between a mother and her estranged daughter: The mother says to the daughter, “You know we love you sweetheart, don’t you? Didn’t we always tell you we loved you?” To which the daughter replies angrily, “Love? What do you know about love? You told me you loved me, but you never showed me you did.” Yes, there is a difference.

There are parents who abuse or neglect their children and then say, “I love you,” thinking it makes up for their behavior. Too often, love is equated with saying “I love you.” If saying “I love you” were enough, we might not have such a high divorce rate. Marriages don’t break up because a spouse stops saying “I love you.” They break up because spouses quit treating each other in a loving way.

Most parents love their children or so we assume. However, we cannot assume from this that most parents act in a loving way. Dr. Newmark’s answer to “What about love?” is that loving your child is essential and saying “I love you” is important, but neither is sufficient unless you act in a loving way. That is why he defines “acting in a loving way” as relating to children in ways that make the child feel respected, important, accepted, included, and secure—that’s the best way to say, “I love you.”

Our book How to Raise Emotionally Healthy Children is available from Amazon in paperback and Kindle ebook in both English and Spanish.

***As always, you can visit us at The Children’s Project website, LIKE us on Facebook, or follow us on on Twitter!***

Children’s Need to Feel SECURE: One of the Five Critical Emotional Needs according to Dr. Gerald Newmark

“Security means creating a positive environment where people care about one another and show it; where people express themselves and others listen; where differences are accepted and conflicts are resolved constructively; where enough structure and rules exist for children to feel safe and protected, and where children have opportunities to actively participate in their own evolution and that of the family.” (MORE)

The above is from a guest post written by Dr. Gerald Newmark (author of How to Raise Emotionally Healthy Children ) for North Texas Kids’ blog.

Dr. Newmark outlines important elements that contribute to a child feeling secure. The following is an example:

“Traditions & Rituals – Establishing traditions and rituals to celebrate events give children a sense of stability and security, as well as family activities.”

For more practical suggestions and to read Dr. Newmark’s entire guest post CLICK HERE

(Read about the other CRITICAL EMOTIONAL NEEDS, including the need to feel respected and included).

***As always, you can visit us at The Children’s Project website, LIKE us on Facebook, or follow us on on Twitter!***

Our book How to Raise Emotionally Healthy Children is available from Amazon in paperback and Kindle ebook in both English and Spanish.

Feel Better or Bitter – It’s Always Your Choice, by Maddisen Krown

Feel Better or Bitter – It’s Always Your Choice by Maddisen Krown

Dear Maddisen:

I’m in my 30’s, but I still find myself feeling really angry at my father for all the stuff he did and didn’t do when I was a kid, and for how oblivious he still is about all of that. He’s such an unhappy person. And guess what, so am I. How can I free myself from this bitter prison? And how do I not pass this on to my own kids? AL

Maddisen Krown, Huffington Post columnist and Life Coach, responds to this reader’s question in her Ask Maddisen column at NoHoArtsDistrict.com.

photo from Ask Maddison column (www.nohoartsdistrict.com)

photo from Ask Maddison column (www.nohoartsdistrict.com)

We are thrilled that Maddisen’s response mentions Dr. Newmark and recommends our book How to Raise Emotionally Healthy Children.

Her response is very affirming, gentle, and includes simple and concrete exercises (such as a forgiveness exercise) to “transform anger and unhappiness into happiness and more inner peace.”

She also reminds us that “We always have the freedom to choose thoughts, feelings, and actions that support our well being and the well being of all concerned. We can choose to feel better, not bitter.”

She recommends How to Raise Emotionally Healthy Children when talking about “supporting the happiness of your own children.

“Childrearing is too important to leave to chance!” This is what Dr. Gerald Newmark writes in his groundbreaking book, “How To Raise Emotionally Healthy Children”. I’ve read Dr. Newmark’s book, and I highly recommend it whether you have children or not! His basic thesis is that all children (and teens and adults – all people) have five critical needs that are essential to their emotional health. These are the need to feel respected, important, accepted, included, and secure. His book presents a philosophy of parenting and an action-oriented strategy based on the five critical needs. It’s simple, powerful, and effective!

I highly recommend reading the entire column! You can find it here.

Go to Amazon.com to purchase a paperback copy or ebook ($2.99) of How to Raise Emotionally Healthy Children.

***As always, you can visit us at The Children’s Project website, LIKE us on Facebook, or follow us on on Twitter!***

Raising Emotionally Healthy Children: Feeling Included

“Feeling Included is a fourth critical emotional need of children. They need to feel they belong, to feel a part of things, to feel connected to other people, to have a sense of community. That’s why kids join cliques, gangs, clubs and teams – to satisfy that need to belong.” (MORE)

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The above is from a guest post written by Dr. Gerald Newmark (author of How to Raise Emotionally Healthy Children ) for North Texas Kids’ blog.

Dr. Newmark offers practical suggestions on ways to include your child. A remarkable outcome of your child feeling included is that:

“Identifying strongly with the family unit makes children more resistant to outside, negative influences…”

Read Dr. Newmark’s entire guest post HERE

***As always, you can visit us at The Children’s Project website, LIKE us on Facebook, or follow us on on Twitter!***

Emotionally Healthy Children Don’t Join Gangs

What leads to success in life? One of the most important factors — even more so than intelligence — is emotional health.

Bob Brunson, LMFT, Monterey County Behavioral Health

Bob Brunson, LMFT, Monterey County Behavioral Health

It’s lack of emotional health that leads some kids to join gangs. It’s why many use drugs or become pregnant too young. So says Bob Brunson, a licensed marriage and family therapist who manages the Monterey County Behavioral Health Services Department. In the following interview, Brunson explains the critical importance of raising emotionally healthy children. [Continue reading]

[The article above is an interview with Bob Brunson, Board member of The Children’s Project – How to Raise Emotionally Healthy Children. It was written by Ellen Wrona and appeared in The Salinas Californian]

Emotional-Health-Friendly Cities: What Does That Mean, and How do We Get There!

by Dr. Gerald Newmark, author of How to Raise Emotionally Healthy Children, and co-founder of The Children’s Project

What is an Emotional-Health-Friendly City?

It is a city whose citizens have developed an understanding of how important emotional health is to success in life and how the neglect of emotional health in our homes and schools has jeopardized the future of our children, families and communities.

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“Romancing the Road” by Victor Anunez, Guadalajara, Mexico

It is a city whose citizens have adopted five critical emotional needs—respected, important, accepted, included and secure—as a unifying concept around which all elements of the city can rally to create emotionally healthy environments where adults interact with children in emotionally healthy ways.

It is a city that provides its families and individuals, a small book with a big idea, “How to Raise Emotionally Healthy Children” by Gerald Newmark, Ph.D., in which the concepts of the five critical emotional needs first saw the light of day.

It is a city, which in collaboration with The Children’s Project, makes the book available to all individuals at a cost that everyone can afford.

It is a city where all the elements—business, education, civic and community agencies, the at-risk community, the young and old, rich and poor can come together to learn and practice a language of unity in a collaborative attempt to achieve peace and prosperity.

The feeling of being a part of something that has significance beyond one’s self, with strong implications for schools and families, education and cities nationwide, is expected to raise the morale of all participants throughout the city.

Read about Salinas, CA, our first Emotionally Friendly City!

Our book How to Raise Emotionally Healthy Children is available from Amazon in paperback and Kindle ebook in both English and Spanish.

The Children’s Project

www.emotionallyhealthychildren.org

818.708.1244

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