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Stephen A. Peterson
It is certainly true that no child comes into a family with an owner’s manual. What is known, though, is that every child has needs if they are to grow up to be well-rounded individuals. There are certain needs behaviorists and psychologists have identified that are so typical among children they are said to be universal. These are the need for:
1. Unconditional love—not simply hugs and kisses but also words of appreciation, significance and comfort.
2. Positive social experiences and opportunity with people who will encourage her/him to develop their innate talents
3. Help to be responsibly independent.
4. Persons who will be their friend.
5. People who will recognize their achievements and skills no matter how small they may seem to others.
6. The security of home and people who are significant to her/him.
7. Encouragement when life’s challenges occur, when he/she feel insignificant or inadequate and must deal with naysayers.
8. Physical items he/she may call their own no matter how small or seemingly insignificant (i.e. a game, radio, doll, baseball glove, item of clothing and so forth).
9. A place of escape for self-introspection even if it must be shared with another person.
10. Some time for her/him –self that the child may use in any way he/she sees fit.
11. Guidance from responsible adults who demonstrate interest in their well-being and for selfish motives.
12. A family responsibility that he/she is able to do, can do well and will be appreciated for doing (i.e. washing the dishes, taking care of the fish tank, changing the bath towels in the bathroom and so forth).
13. Guidance from a responsible person from both genders (parents are the most preferable).
14. Recognition that they are unique, special and not like anyone who has ever lived.
15. A belief in an authority greater than that of a human.
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