What You – and Your Child – Really Need

a baking

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.

{ MORE: 4 Tips for Coordinating Your Kids' Outfits on a Budget }

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.
  • Clean.
  • 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? 

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What do you think?

What You – and Your Child – Really Need

Sara McTigue is a secret agent, cupcake chef, award winning author, photographer, and PTA mom. At least, that is how things look in her mind. When she isn’t testing the bounds of her imagination, she is a mom to three amazing and hilariously funny children, wife to a charming and handsome man, and thoroughly addicted to reading. With a BS in English Education and an MA in English Literature, words – and their ability to shape our lives and thoughts – are an everyday fascination. Af ... More

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15 comments

  1. Profile photo of misslissy misslissy says:

    These are some great ideas! I’m bookmarking it!

  2. Loved the article this is preparing me for my first Little one she will be here soon

  3. Very good article ,with great ideas i can do with my young ones.

  4. Profile photo of SSValenzuela SSValenzuela says:

    This is a great article. We all get so worked up and doing things when all we really need to do is spend time with each other. We all need the love and comfort from our family members!

  5. Profile photo of Sara McTigue, CLCEditor Sara McTigue, CLC says:

    Thanks! Friday is our official family pizza night – my son looks forward to it all week. We should add in movies – that’s a great idea!

  6. Profile photo of Sara McTigue, CLCEditor Sara McTigue, CLC says:

    I know how that goes. It’s easy to forget how simple it can be to entertain the little ones and make them feel special.

  7. Profile photo of Sara McTigue, CLCEditor Sara McTigue, CLC says:

    Me too! I wish my kids were more interested in napping still!

  8. Profile photo of annabelle annabelle says:

    Good article!! Me and my son loves to dance!! 🙂 We also make sure that every friday we have a movie night (rent a movie and make some popcorn, its not expensive to do). My girls loves to help me especially if im baking! 🙂

  9. Profile photo of Brandi Brandi says:

    I will have to try that with my 5 year old stepdaughter… she and i get very bored when her 7 week old baby sister is sleeping lol

  10. Profile photo of tina tina says:

    I love to sing & dance with my baby!

  11. Profile photo of tina tina says:

    I love to sing & dance with my baby!

  12. Profile photo of Jeanetta Jeanetta says:

    My favorite is the napping with snuggles…

  13. Profile photo of Zaiynab Zaiynab says:

    awww cute =) when I think I need something I try to think of all the things I already have, and if I still want it later then I’ll get it lol

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