All children are born with 4 emotional needs, and if we meet these needs,
1. Our relationships with our children improve dramatically.
2. Misbehavior decreases and cooperation increases.
3. The odds go up that our children will make good choices even when we are not around.
4. We build a strong family where our children learn and practice good values.
5. Our frustration and stress come down.
If these needs are not met, whether we know about them or not, relationships suffer, cooperation goes down, children tend to make choices that result in unhappiness, our family weakens, and our frustration grows.
Here are the 4 emotional needs.
1. A sense of belonging
2. A sense of personal power
3. To be heard and understood
I teach fatherhood education in the state prison and county jails.
Here’s what I tell my students: “I can tell you how to be a better dad in 5 words – perhaps the 5 most powerful words a dad can live by:
*Meet the 4 emotional needs*.
Now I want to tell any dad interested, if you are like I was as a young parent, in need of advice, focus on meeting the 4 emotional needs.
Meet the need for a sense of belonging by spending one-on-one time.
Meet the need for a sense of personal power by giving choices.
Meet the need to be heard and understood by listening and reflecting.
Meet the need for boundaries by:
1. Strengthening relationships
2. Setting clear expectations
3. Giving attention when expectations are met
4. Acknowledging feelings
5. Teaching the desired behavior
6. Problem-solve together
7. Using consequences wisely
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