While your child may seem to want every new gadget that appears during commercials, her actual needs are much less extensive. After providing the basics -- food, clothing and shelter -- you can focus on the other necessities that your kids need to develop into healthy and productive adults.
A Stable Environment
Children need a safe home to return to each day. Adequate shelter keeps children out of the elements and safe from danger. Establishing family routines can help kids feel safe and secure. A child also needs to feel safe on an emotional level by knowing that he is able to talk to you about any subject and be heard.
Children need love and affection at all times, even when they make mistakes. Giving your child your time is one way to show that you love him. Recognizing your child's accomplishments or hard work can also make him feel more appreciated and understood by his parents.
Children need to know that there are boundaries. These limits should be clearly communicated to them. They also need to know which behaviors are considered appropriate and which inappropriate. Discipline should be consistent and a result of love, not punishment. It should be reasonable and appropriate to the circumstance.
If one of the child's parents is not available, a responsible adult or day care center will need to be paid to care for the children. According to the National Center for Children in Poverty, "child care is often the single largest expense that families face." Child care rates vary based on location and the quality of care and range from $600 a month to $1,500 a month for two children.
Toys and Entertainment
While a toy may not seem like a "need," children from all over the world play with toys, even if they have to make them themselves. Toys provide entertainment to children and help them learn about the world around them and how to interact with others. A selection of a few beloved toys is likely sufficient; other entertainment activities that you may want to provide include books, drawing items, craft supplies and board games.
Children's needs change as they age and develop. While a baby may have many needs and be totally dependent, a teenager may require few items to stay safe and cared for. Every child is different and may require more attention or discipline from a parent than another child needs.
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