As parents, our natural instinct is to protect, nurture, and guide our children. But have you ever paused to think about the weight your needs place on your children?

 In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, I often voiced my needs to my daughter – ‘I need you to get off the computer’, ‘I need you to take out the trash’, ‘I need you to brush your teeth’. Although at the time I proposed that these requests were being made with my daughter’s best interests at heart, I had to acknowledge the potential pressure and intensity that these needs projected onto her. 

 Do you find yourself justifying your needs. After all, you’re doing this for the good of your child, right? You might tell yourself that you want them to learn responsibility, to be happy, to be successful, to be healthy. But amid this flurry of needs, have you ever stopped to ask your children what they need? In your own parenting journey, you may forget to turn the tables and inquire about your child’s needs in order to engender co-operation in your relationship.

 When your needs are so intense that they present as demands, they can show up as disappointment if not met. This can place a significant amount of pressure on your children, both physically and emotionally.

 The key to addressing this is to first meet your own needs, and then to turn towards your child and ask them what they need. This shift in perspective canlead to increased understanding and cooperation.

Children want to be healthy, safe, and love themselves – just like us. These are the fundamentals of their being and it’s essential to remember that they are young and their understanding of these concepts is different from yours.

When you relax your protection mode and start seeing your children for who they are, you support them to come towards you, rather than protecting themselves from your engulfment. When you ask what they need, you open the door to deeper understanding and connection.

This process requires you to take back our projected needs and to create space for your child to express their needs. The result is a precious and exquisite experience of seeing your child for who they truly are – individuals who want to love themselves, be safe, and be healthy.

So, this week, try to shift the focus from your needs to your child’s needs. Open the door to your heart and see if you’re willing to show up and offer your child what they need. This shift in perspective may just be the key to a more harmonious and understanding parent-child relationship.