Fulfilling the needs for shelter, security and protection are essential for all other growth and learning. Children need to be safe ? physically, socially, emotionally and intellectually.
Children have basic needs that must be satisfied before they are able to learn and cope with the world. Abraham Maslow?s theory of development and motivation provides an easily-understood basic framework for discussing the needs of children at home and school, and creates a hierarchy that establishes relationships between them.
The building blocks of adult success are laid in early childhood, and that development begins with prenatal health even before the child is born. There?s no evidence that playing Mozart 24/7 for 9 months will make Jason a famous musician, but we do know that malnutrition, drug/alcohol addictions, even emotional stress ? all have an impact, even before birth.
In this section, we?ll talk about four main aspects of being SECURE, using Maslow?s Hierarchy as our guide. Physiological Needs for food and water are required for basic survival; and these must be satisfied before a person becomes concerned with Safety Needs ? or the need for shelter, security and protection.
When basic survival and safety needs are satisfied, then people can concentrate on Social Needs ? or needs for love, belonging and affiliation with others. We all want to belong to a group of friends and family, develop relationships and be loved. This has to do with emotional safety; and our perceptions of being loved, or not, affect our feelings about ourselves, or Self Esteem, which ultimately affects our ability to reach our potential.
Once our basic needs for safety, love and esteem are met, we are then able to respond to Cognitive and Aesthetic Stimulation. Academic achievement plays a part in developing our self-esteem; and brain research supports the positive effect that the arts and music have on developing our intellectual, emotional and creative capabilities.
So, as parents we strive for our children to be physically, emotionally, socially, and intellectually secure. The final stage, Self-Actualization, is the integration of our needs for belonging and respect with our personal needs for self-fulfillment, as we grow toward our best potential.