Teaching children about their basic needs builds the foundation for them to understand their own behaviour, as well as the behaviour of others. We can help our kids right from the start to understand that they are not “bad” when they engage in certain behaviours, but rather, that they are doing the best they can in the moment to meet their needs, and can learn how to manage themselves in a way that will work out better for them. Imagine how much better the world would be if we moved away from judgement and blame, and put our energy into problem-solving!
Here’s a great activity to start the conversation. If you click on the link below, you’ll find 4 pages full of descriptors. Have your children colour the ones that apply to them. Then, have them cut out the ones that they coloured, and paste them on the corresponding need that each describes. The more coloured cut-outs on each page, the more important that need is to you.
Doing this activity can help not only to introduce the basic needs, but also can begin a conversation about the fact that every person is different, and sees the world in different ways. It’s not wrong that one person likes being goofy, and another wants to get down to work and achieve a task – it just means that fun is important to one, and power is important to the other. When we can respect each other’s needs, it helps us to find ways that we can all get our needs met.
Please comment below if you have tried this activity and let others learn from your experience! Or, if you have other ideas about introducing the needs, feel free to share!