What Children Do and Don’t Need

As a pediatric therapist for more than 30 years, I have come up with a list of what I believe kids need and don’t need.  I wish I could have a do-over on a few of these.

What Children Do Not Need:

1. Cell phones when they’re in grade school. Over the years, I cannot tell you one good thing that can come from this.

2. Unlimited access to social media. There is very little that is healthy on social media for children and it is getting worse.

3. So many toys that they can’t even think of something to want at birthday or holiday times. Too much of anything leaves children unable to be full.  They become like buckets with holes in them.

4. Televisions in their rooms. Rooms are for sleeping.  Good sleep hygiene is a dying art for too many children.

5. To be able to control the emotional climate of the home. Moody kids should not be allowed to hold the whole house hostage.  If a child wants to be moody, he can go to his room and be moody by himself.  Everyone else need not suffer.

6. Too much indoor time. Our kids have become hermits with social media and high tech games.  It is ruining their social skills. It’s also taking a toll on their physical well-being.

7. Too many activities outside of school. No wonder this generation is so anxiety-ridden.  They are overloaded.  If we want to teach them to take care of themselves as they age, we must teach them to do that by our example and by limiting their extracurricular activities. Scripture even recognizes the need to rest.

8. To be able to disrespect any authority. Even authority that you as a parent dislike or the child dislikes should still be respected.  There will always be an authority in your child’s life even when your child is 50.

9. To always call the shots. Children who get to always choose where to eat, where to play, and what the family does end up being brats.

10. Constant approval and pats on the back. You will not always be around to do this. Children need to learn to be proud of themselves when they do something good whether anyone tells them or not.

What Children Do Need:

1.Rest. They play hard.  Their bodies need rest to grow and develop.

2. Uninterrupted family time. The most important people to a child are those under the same roof. Make family time purposeful and protected.

3. Outdoor play time where they can explore and create. All kids need free time to imagine.

4. Rules and expectations. Be clear. Be concise. And don’t be afraid to give them.

5. Consistent discipline. If a rule is broken, a child needs to know what to expect. All fear is not a bad thing.  There is a fear that can represent respect.

6. Parents who love them and love each other. Security begins here.

7. For you as a parent to say “no” sometimes. Your child does not need a lollipop or a new shirt every time you go to the shops.

8. Hugs. Physical touch affects the development of children.

9. The ability to share their feelings about anything as long as they are respectful.

10. The most precious gift that a parent can give any child is to demonstrate a personal relationship with God and consistently teach that child through your actions what having faith in God really means. In the toughest times of their lives, they will learn in large part to rely on God by the example you display for them.


Written By: Cindy Ketron

Mum’s You Are Enough: Don’t Compare

The Perfect Social Media Mum

A few days ago while at the pool I watched a young Mama and her little daughter enter the pool area dressed in very nice coordinating swimming suits. The mom, with her perfect loose curls tied up in a coordinating scarf, spent the first few minutes talking loudly on her phone to a friend while her daughter stood waiting to get into the pool.

Mom ended the phone call and proceeded to spread out pool toys and sunscreen on a matching towel.

Then after finding just the right angle and the right light, Mama pulled out her tripod and took a few selfies with her daughter. Her little one asked to get in the pool. Mama said wait and then posed her daughter in front the pool, then going in to the pool and then coming back out of the pool. Little one smiled big and said “cheese” like she’d done it a million times.

Then Mama told her she could play.

Little One walked in and swam around for a couple of minutes. Mama called a friend on her phone and began another conversation while Little One politely and repeatedly asked:

“Mama, can you come in the water with me, please?”
She was ignored.

“Mama, come play with me?” she asked 4 more times.

Mama glanced over at her but never got off the phone. After 10 minutes Mama ended her call, collected the sunscreen that was never applied, the water toys that never touched the water, and then her daughter and left the pool.

I sat there thinking about what I’d witnessed for a while afterwards. I imagined the photos she took being perfectly edited and posted to social media with a caption like: “Pool time with my girly! #Makingmemories”.

What The Real Mumma Sees…

Somewhere another Mama is going to be at home with her children, the house a mess from their play, her hair unruly from a day of mothering and her clothes dirty with spit up or peanut butter. She’s going to be tired because she’s spent her day cooking, caring, cleaning and playing with her children. She’s going to look at that photo and she is going to compare herself to the perfect Mama at the pool.

The Adversary is going to whisper into her ear “you aren’t good enough… You don’t look like that Mama at the pool… You don’t have money to buy expensive swimming suits like that and you don’t have time to make memories like she is” and that young Mama is going to believe it.

She’s going to feel like a failure. She’ll never know that how she spent her time that day was so much better in her children’s eyes than that “perfect Mama” at the pool.

What we see on Social Media isn’t always real. Sometimes and often it’s a complete set-up. It’s staged and filtered and it’s counterfeit.

Sometimes we do see absolutely real photos of vacations and beautiful homes and freshly done hair but it’s only ONE moment. It’s the very best moment out of a whole day spent much like our own. Working, cleaning, and messes…

Mamas, don’t compare yourself. You ARE enough! You are amazing and the very best part is that you are REAL! Your dirty shirt and your messy house and your happy children are real and they are proof that you are doing it right!

Written by Jen Flint

Children Don’t Need A Perfect Mum. They Need A Happy One.

Last week I had coffee with a friend and she was convinced that she is failing as a mom. She said all the moms around her (or that she follows on social media) seem to have it all together but she messes up daily!

She said other moms are all perfectly put together, have perfectly dressed kids who appear to be just as perfectly behaved. She then asked what is wrong with her because some mornings she can’t even brush her hair!

And this got me thinking, how many of us feel the same way but just don’t voice it? Have you ever felt this comparison pressure? Alone in your mom guilt and too scared of judgment to admit it?

If you have ever asked the question, “what’s wrong with it me”, I’m here to tell you- ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! God chose you as the perfectly imperfect mom for your children. There is no better mom for your kids. 

Not one of us is perfect. We all mess up daily but the beauty is that we can give it our best again tomorrow. Gods mercies are new every morning  (I can’t even count how many times I’ve repeated this to myself when I go to bed with mom guilt!)

We judge, criticise and beat ourselves up about failing as a mom because we are comparing ourselves against a perfect standard we assume is there. When in fact it’s just an illusion and is incorrect. NO ONE, (I repeat) NO ONE has it together! So stop believing this lie.

What our children need is not a mom striving to be perfect in everything. What they need is a mom who is happy. A mom full of joy because she knows that God believes she is enough for her children. The Master of the universe knows that you have the skills & abilities to raise your little people better than anyone else! Now isn’t that a glorious truth!

So even if your floors are sticky, your laundry pile is sky high, your hair is in a permanent messy bun and your last meal was your kids unfinished food…. Smile. You are enough for your kids gorgeous mama. Your love, laughter and joyous smile is all they need. Stop comparing. Stop the guilt and walk confidently into the title the role God has given you.

Content and Image Source: Written by Juggling The J’s – on Facebook