If you have children you know what your relationship with them means to you, but do you know what it means to them? Maybe you do, and maybe you never thought about it. Well we're here to tell you that it means EVERYTHING to them. Even though they sometimes behave as if it isn't, the truth is that what a child needs most, psychologically and emotionally in order to thrive is to feel loved, needed, respected, powerful and a feeling of belonging. In the formative years, actually until adolescence, these basic needs can only be fulfilled through the child's relationship with his/her parents.

There's a lot to say about this topic and it truly deserves a whole dedicated website. We'll work on it soon.

In the meantime here are some tips on how to meet some of your child's most basic needs:

1. To feel loved
Let's start with the most obvious tip: Tell them that you love them. Tell them often, but mean it every time. "I love you" shouldn't substitute "see you later". It should be said with intent and meaning.
Do you light up when your child enters the room? Do you even acknowledge seeing him/her? From now on make a point of lighting up when you see them, especially if its after many hours of being apart. Smile, touch them, say "Hi, buddy".
And don't forget to love them unconditionally. They should not have to earn your love. They earned it when they were born, even before. Make sure they know that you love them no matter what and that they do not have to prove themselves worthy of your love.

2. To feel needed
Don't you feel good when you're needed? Everyone does and your children are no exception. Ask them for help (yes, even when you don't really need it), ask their advice, give them a "job" that they do best (my daughter's job was to tell me if the pasta is ready by tasting one). And don't forget to acknowledge their help and contribution to the family or household activity.

3. To be respected
Again, stop and think a moment how you feel when you are not respected. You feel awful! Your self esteem gets damaged, you get angry and revengeful...
Let me promise you - the only way your children will learn to respect you is if you show them how its done.
Respect your children, unconditionally, no matter how old (or young) they are. In my book - this means complete and full respect, just like I would give my loving partner or best friend. You can still be the parent, set limits, etc. but do it all with respect. Knock on their bedroom door before entering, don't go through their school bag without permission, don't turn the TV off when they are in the middle of watching, unless they have agreed, give them choices and respect what they choose.

4. To feel powerful
A child, just like an adult, needs to feel powerful, not in the aggressive sense but in the personal ability meaning of the word. The best way to drive this point across is to say that the opposite of feeling powerful is feeling depressed, total despair, total weakness. Obviously you don't want your child to get to those powerless states of being.

Actually, if we didn't interfere, a child is naturally powerful, so the best way to help your child stay powerful is to avoid taking that power away. Ask yourself if you are a controlling parent, and if you are - be aware of it and step back. Avoid power struggles, let your child win in arguments, let them make decisions and respect them.

5. A feeling of belonging
The need to belong is a human need. We belong to a family, a community, a race, a nation, a religion, a club, a church/synagogue/ mosque, etc. This need is so strong that human beings go to war and kill to protect their "memberships". I believe that our goal as parents is to provide our children with the good safety feeling of belonging without the need to fight for it or to protect it. If children HAVE safety, they don't need to fight for it. Same goes for anything else.

So they most primary group for a child is his family. Make sure that every child has a safe (emotional) place in the family. Make sure they know - there is room enough for everyone.

Author's Bio: 

Michal Eyal is a parenting and personal growth instructor and coach, she is also an NLP Master Practitioner. Michal Has been learning and teaching parenting and personal growth for almost 20 years. Check out her website at: www.easy-happiness.com/index.html