The 5 basic needs of all kids

Parenting well in these modern times

Children who are exposed to hour upon hour of screen time, whether in front of the TV, the computer, or the cell phone miss out on many of the experiences that will shape them as a person.

So writes Gloria DeGaetano in her book, Parenting Well in a Media Age.

DeGaetano, who is also the founder of the Parent Coaching Institute has identified the five most important basic needs of all humans that if not met, can keep us from blossoming into the rich, full individuals we’re meant to be:

  • A loving parent-child bond. The younger the child, the more they need our affection, touch, and warmth.
  • Develop an interior life. Children need time to be alone, to be within themselves, to think, ponder and reflect.
  • Develop the imagination. Encourage imaginative play for little ones, and as children grow, encourage innovation, exploration of new ideas.
  • Creative expression. Children need to experience the magic of creating, and to see the outcome of their endeavors.   
  • Contribution as relationship. It’s important for kids to know that their contribution helps the larger whole.

“I like to help parents reframe chores,” says DeGaetano, “so that kids see these as their responsibilities to help the family with the business of living.” A child who understands this feels needed.
(For more on parenting well in a media age, visit the Parent Coaching Institute at

Watch Dr. Dan O'Hern discuss the importance of reading to your kids at an early age.