What You – and Your Child – Really Need
I need a drink.
I need a snack.
I need money for the book fair. A wipe. A piece of paper. My Iron Man mask. A pencil. Itch cream. Batteries. Someone to tie my shoe. A new doll.
I need. I need. I need.
My children talk all day about the things they need. I’ve tried explaining to them the difference between a need and a want, but to no avail. It shouldn’t surprise me. I hear myself proclaiming my needs, too.
I need a drink.
I need coffee.
I need five minutes of quiet. For everyone to get along. For you to stop what you are doing and listen to me. To run to the grocery store. To run to the bank. To run to Target. To run.
The thing is, sometimes what I need is for someone to smack me and tell me to stop acting out all my first world problems. Just like my son doesn’t need his Iron Man mask to go to school, I don’t need to get groceries. He can learn just as well as Thor and we’ve got cereal and Chef Boyardee in the cabinet. What he – and I – need is just a little something more than our basic survival needs met. We need somebody to stop what they are doing and pay attention to us. In both cases, the person who can best do that is usually me.
In the past, a fellow blogger on the site, Liz Henry, talked about 50 Ways to Love Yourself. There are some great options in there for the moments when you are the one who needs 5 minutes.
When the person with all the needs is your kid, why not try one of these?
- Sing a song together.
- Talk about the day they were born.
- Go for a walk and play I Spy.
- Turn off all the lights and play with flashlights.
- Build a fort for watching television or reading books.
- Draw a picture together.
- Thumb wrestle.
- Tickle fight.
- Fix one another’s hair.
- Paint toenails.
- Grab a whole stack of books and read them all.
- Play a simple card game. How simple? Toddlers love 52 Pickup.
- Put on a sock puppet show.
- Race cars or roll balls down the hallway.
- Play hide and seek.
- Play Simon Says.
- Nap (together, with snuggles).
- Give some of their toys a bath.
- Get cozy and watch a favorite movie together.
- Facetime or Skype with grandparents, aunts, or uncles.
- Look at photographs together.
- Tell them funny stories about when you were little.
- Talk about what they want to be when they grow up.
- Bake cookies.
What do you do when everyone seems to need something?