What Children Really Want From Their Parents

The worst thing about being a parent is that there are no guarantees. You can bust your ass, work at 4 jobs, buy the best things imaginable and take them to Europe, and still not become the best parent to them. It may even happen that your child will remember their childhood as a disaster.

Why it happens? Probably because of the fact that adults think little about what a child needs. They embody their dreams, avoid their fears, do not want to listen to anyone, because they think they know better. Parents, like any adults, are sure that happiness is a difficult thing to reach, you have to work hard for it.

But kids don’t need all of that, the psychologist Jessica Davis says. They need simple things that we lack in adulthood. Kids, of course, will not tell about it and, probably, will demand the next fashionable toy. But it is always worth remembering that the most vital of things in the world are not material ones.

What children don’t talk about

When I just entered teenage years, I saw a movie where the main character wrote a letter to himself in the future, how would he like to be a parent. It seemed to him that when he grew up, then, following the example of his father, he would no longer understand his child. I don’t remember the name of the film, but I really wanted to write something similar for myself so that I could always look back and remember what it was like to be a teenager. Unfortunately, I did not do this: adolescence took its toll, and meetings with peers at that time turned out to be much more important than reflection on relationships with parents. And now, after many years into adulthood, sharing on my own analysis of the stories of relations with my parents, or listening to clients, I come to the conclusion that, looking back, I would have wanted the simplest of things from my parents. I have never seen a client, already being an adult, crying because they didn’t buy something. Or that the family had little money. Or that the parents weren’t as cool as the other parents. I did not hear them complain about their dad did not becoming the head of a big corporation, and that their mom was not a beautiful model. No one has ever mentioned to me that they felt their father’s love just because he bought them something expensive.

What do the former children who grew up into adults, and perhaps even parents themselves, talk about during such consultations? The messages of their children's part to their parents are usually very simple:

  • Accept me as i am
  • Do not compare me with others and with yourself
  • Appreciate what I do, even if I am not good at it
  • Spend time with me: it's much more important to me than your overtime work and sterile cleanliness in the house.
  • Respect my space and my borders
  • Pay attention to me, even if you have problems
  • Do not quarrel with your wife/husband - I am scared
  • Be interested and consider my opinion too
  • Life is not about cleaning the house and washing the dishes
  • I love you, do not think that it’s not true
  • Do not give me offensive nicknames, I will remember them all my life
  • I'm terrified when you hurt me physically

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