Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The physical and emotional needs of people

If I don't expect my 3 year old to provide for all his physical needs - food, bathing, dressing, fresh clothes, tidy living quarters - then why would I expect him to provide for all his emotional and spiritual needs - love, guidance, touch, play, comfort? Why would I expect to separate physical and emotional and spiritual needs, for a child or for an adult?

Don't they overlap and interplay? What about the sense of well being that comes from a pleasant warm bath filled with water play? Or, sharing a good meal while sitting together? Or the conversation had while drifting to sleep?

So you've been imagining a parent and child as you read the scenarios above...instead, imagine two friends or lovers. Adults can't always provide for all of their own needs either. They're better at it than children, sometimes. They're better at coping with deprivation, to an extent...

I wish we could toss out the notion that providing for emotional needs of children is creating bad habits or dependency. A child is dependent.

Going to momma to fix a boo boo is a good habit. Finding reliable love and attention from parents is a good habit. Better said, it's natural and instinctual. The alternative is learning the bad habit of seeking love and reassurance elsewhere - from things and people who cannot provide it.

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