What Your Child Doesn’t Need

what your child doesn't need; parentingParenting has become stranger than ever. And the pressure to be a good parent has become higher than ever. However, we seem to be more worried about being “good parents” than actually raising humans. And the elusive definition of a “good parent”, even though it varies from culture to culture, nowadays is more under attack from peer and media pressure than ever.

Instead of knowing what your child doesn’t need and what they really need, every parent often faces situations in which the focus is shifted to whether they are doing everything humanely possible to give their child a carefree and happy childhood. This often comes at a cost of neglecting the true goal of parenting and getting swept up in a tide of competitive consumerism.

The seeming transparency of our lives through social media, makes us guilt ridden, as we see other parents in picture perfect scenarios, doing almost everything from a retail catalog of a happy family corpus of activities.

After much thinking, I put down what I personally think we should focus on more, as parents.

This is what your child needs:

  • Shelter
  • Food
  • Health care
  • Attention
  • Affection
  • Boundaries
  • Freedom to be their own self
  • Support
  • Honesty
  • Direction
  • Perspective

To be happy, your child doesn’t need:

  • to show off how successful/rich you are
  • the latest gadgets, fashionable items
  • to be constantly entertained by you
  • to put up with your political/religious convictions
  • to have an expensively furnished room according to their current interest
  • to be the representation of your parenting achievements
  • to live out the things you didn’t have the chance/opportunity to

Sometimes recognizing what your child doesn’t need is so delicate because of the societal and peer pressure. Stay strong and remember that you are helping a person grow up, you are not creating a creature that should fit your own standards and represent you in any way.

What would you add to those lists?



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10 thoughts on “What Your Child Doesn’t Need

  1. You missed education! Schools can be a positive experience, but they should augment parental teaching, not replace it. (And I would argue religious education is important there also.) The state has its own agenda (sometimes benign), and a well educated child can evaluate what is being offered and react accordingly. But only if thinking and education begin at home. (I could write an entire post, but I think I had better stop here.)

    1. You are correct – education is essential. In Finland it is free for everyone and very well run, so I didn’t add it as a part of parental responsibility.

  2. I agree with the first comment. Education is down to parents too. It’s actually the chore source and not school like people think. You can’t rely on teachers for them to take over your responability. I am a techer and trust me, I see it sometimes being the case. Great post. I like the way you mention expensive gadgets as a non-must, especially in the world of crazy consommation we live in those days…I alos like the mention to the representations of your parenting achievements. It’s not a competition! #AnythingGoes

  3. I couldn’t agree more Ana. It is ridiculous the extent parents feel they have to go to today to ‘prove’ they are good parents. It has become such a competition for best birthday parties, pressure on children to be the best and have the latest this or that. I totally agree with your ideas and fortunately, my daughter is trying this with her son. It does take course and strength not to give in! #mg

  4. I also think great kids need great experiences, memory makers, to fill their lives with joy. And that is as simple as us parents being present with our children. Make memories every day! #mg

  5. some great points here, it is so easy to get wrapped up in completion parenting and forget what our kids really need and don’t need xx #mg

What do you think?