Lately I keep seeing this add campaign on the back of buses, etc. for some educational website that uses the slogan, "Just what your kids need. More time on the computer." Maybe it's just me, but I actually find that a bit appalling! In this society where kids (and often parents alike) already spend too much time on digital technology and not enough time with their family or having other meaningful experiences... I think it does families a disservice to encourage more time on these types of things. - Note I don't think it is wrong to use these resources, just that you have to have balance and good judgement about what types of things are good for your family.
In any case, it got me thinking about things that I would put in the category of 'just what my kids need.' I have finished a school project which talks about things like this (though in a different way) that I plan to post... but here are a few of them.
The first and foremost is of course, love. Ultimately it is unconditional love from parents and everything that comes with it that will help them to grow in to secure and happy adolescents and then adults.
This of course involves time. Time spent with YOU. Time spent doing the things that interest them. Time spent letting them help you in the things that you need to do. Time spent just exploring and enjoying the moment. Time in which time doesn't matter.
Kids need consistency. Children need to know that there are boundaries and that their parents will expect them to stay within those boundaries. They need to know that they won't be loved by their parents one day and practically ignored, or worst, the next. They thrive in routines where they can know what to expect... and when things are out of the ordinary because of circumstances beyond the control of their parents, they need support and understanding.
Anyway I'm sure none of that is terribly surprising to you, and there are plenty of other things that are more to do with their physical and mental development, but these are my thoughts for today!