Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Vancouver Island, Canada
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Excellent question, Hannah!
I believe that their wants and needs remain the same, but the need is often hidden under the surface as the child gets older.
Using the example of the "sofa throne" above, lol...the child's need isn't really for mommy to bring her everything she asks for. The child is in the process of learning something about feelings, desires, power, etc. Her *need* is to be taught something about that.
So, I would tell the child gently that I'm not getting them for her, that she can get them herself. When the inevitable tears begin, I will comfort her, explain to her that it's okay to feel mad and that this is normal (but of course I'm not giving in and bringing her the stuff). I will try to help her process her feelings, the situation. This is how I believe I can continue to meet her needs, without "spoiling" her (for lack of a better word).
The tricky part is recognizing what the underlying need is. Emotions are so complex and I think as adults it is so hard to remember what it's like to feel them for the first time and not know how to control or rationalize them. It is not always easy to see the underlying struggle beneath the situation.
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Mama to DD14 and DS12, both born on MDC.