Every person has social and emotional needs. To grow up healthy and productive, early childhood experts believe that children must:
· Have their social and emotional needs met and
· Learn the skills necessary to be in healthy relationships with others
In their book, “Promoting First Relationships”, 2003, Kelly, Zuckerman, Sandoval, and Buehlman identified 8 primary social and emotional needs of children AND adults:
1. To be safe and secure
2. To be loved and have a sense of self-worth
3. To receive attention and be understood
4. To have a sense of control and predictability
5. To recognize and handle upset feelings
6. To be powerful, independent, and competent
7. To be stimulated in exploration
8. To enjoy relationships and have a sense of belonging
When any of these primary needs are not met, and we are feeling, for example, unsafe and as if we have no control over our lives, we can feel miserable and even depressed. If we feel powerless over a situation, angry, and as if no one understands us, we can act out in inappropriate ways and even, over time, get sick.
Looking at our relationships, the responsibilities we have taken on, our jobs, or the life circumstance we are in, we can use these 8 primary needs as tools for change. If a few or many of these needs are not being met at work or at home, figure out what needs to stop or change. Evaluate your life. Take the opportunity NOW to feel secure, loved, productive, and happy most hours of the day. Only you can make these positive changes. What are you waiting for?