3 - Tell children what they need and don't need (Empathy)

This is often simply a matter of how we phrase our requests – when we tell someone, even a child, “you need to put on your shoes” or “you need to eat your vegetables”, we are really saying in essence, “I would like you to put on your shoes and eat your vegetables”.  The problem with the language choice in the former style is that over a period of years, the child may start to assume that we, the parents, are actually the only one who knows what they need, and they will cease to rely on their intuition in terms of their own needs.  After all, we do want them, at some point, not only to start to meet their own needs, but also to learn to request help in getting those needs met.  If it is our need that is at issue, let us own our own needs, and teach our kids about needs and how they work, so that they know whose needs are whose.

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