top of page

The 6 Emotion Needs of Every Child

Did you know that a child has 6 emotional needs?

Indeed, all humans, young and old, have social-emotional needs! When parents consistently meet these needs in their children's lives, their children grow up to be happier, more confident, and more capable of reaching their full potential.

1. Safety and Security

Children who feel loved and safe find the courage they need to explore their world. They learn best when their world is safe and predictable.

Identifying feelings makes them less scary. Help them to do this by asking questions about characters in the stories you read. Are they happy, scared, mad? What did the faces tell you.

Explore this emotional need with a book! The Invisible String

2. Routine

Predictable days provide that sense of security as children know what to expect.

Having routines at home make it easier for children to settle into the routines of school.

Explore this emotional need with a book! Ten Minutes to Bed: Little Unicorn

3. Discipline and consistency

Children need discipline to learn socially acceptable behaviour so that they can live respectfully with others. Positive interaction with their worlds develops self-confidence, motivation and good relationships.

Self awareness and self management skils are developed.

Calm and consistent discipline allows children to understand their limits and the time to learn to be accountable for their actions.

It also gives them the opportunity to think about what they would do differently next time!

Explore this emotional need with a book! My Magic Breath: Finding Control Through Mindful Breathing

4. Love

Feeling loved is the most important emotional need of a child. Children need lots of reminders like hugs, kisses and words to develop emotional security.

They also need practice in talking about it. “I feel loved when…..” “I show you how much I love you when I….”

Explore this emotional need with a book! Wherever You Go, My Love Will Find You

5. Uniqueness

As parents we need to recognize and encourage our little ones’ talents and skills. Gentle encouragement is needed here as they develop into being into unique people!

At the same time we can show them that other people feel differently – questions like how did the three little pigs feel about their houses?

Explore this emotional need with a book! Remarkably You

6. Acceptance, recognition and approval

Our unconditional loves shows our children that they are loved for who they are and not for how they behave. This acceptance builds their self-confidence, one of the best gifts children can carry with them as they start school.

Self-confidence helps children to share how they are feeling “I don’t like it when you push me, I like sitting next to you”

Explore this emotional need with a book! Chrysanthemum


Come back next week to explore why fulfilling these

social-emotional needs are so important to the development of your child and concrete ways you can help!


bottom of page