Parenting Tip: Focus on Needs

If I ask you “what do you want” what’s the first thing that comes to mind?  Now, take a minute and answer this question “do you need it?”  Likely you don’t, it’s something you “want” but you don’t necessarily “need” it.  Ultimately, we all NEED these 4 things:

  1. Food
  2. Clothing
  3. Water
  4. Shelter

This is a sensitive subject; it’s one that I see parents struggle with!  In my experience, parents battle this daily with children of any age.

A Better Life?

Parents today feel challenged to make sure their kids have everything they want; from the time they’re old enough to ask to (sadly) an age they are too old to be asking!  What I hear most commonly is this “I want my kids to have more or better than I did.”  That’s okay to an extent, I understand, but be wise with your approach.  By giving them more and better and failing to teach them how to earn, achieve and accomplish you will create entitlement.

You have permission to stop!

Difference in Want vs Need

The epidemic of 24-year-old’s living in their parent’s basement playing video games or doing nothing at all are a direct result of this.  They don’t “want” to work.  Would you agree they “need” to?  It’s not uncommon for a parent to call me to make an appointment for their grown son.  Why is that, because he doesn’t “want” to!  I tell the parent if he’s 18+ years of age it’s his responsibility, he “needs” to!

Giving a child everything he wants versus focusing on providing what he needs (food, water, clothing and shelter) sets him up for a very tumultuous adulthood.   There is a distinct difference between the two and it’s beneficial to you, and your child, that you begin to ask yourself “is this a want or a need!”

Teach Strength

My challenge to every parent reading this is to stop and reevaluate.  Remember when you have a child you have a responsibility to raise the child to become a strong healthy adult.  An adult that can contribute and thrive as he exits your home (an exit plan) into the world on his own.  Versus depending and relying on you or others for the rest of his life.  I know that isn’t your goal.

There are always times when you are or will be giving your child something he wants.  Special occasions are a perfect example of that.  What I am addressing here is this, every day you should understand your responsibility as a parent is to mentor and raise your child to be an accountable and healthy adult.  Those lessons are learned by teaching what is needed in life and working toward getting what you want is an added bonus.

Want more parenting tips?  You can pick up a copy of my book(s) HERE.