ways to deal with stress

How to Develop an Awesome Family Mindset

ways to deal with stress

There are many stressors on families at the moment. But all families would probably agree that when the kids are settled and happy everyone’s less stressed. This is more difficult in a Covid-19 environment. But it’s possible if you develop an awesome family mindset where the needs of the whole family are supported.

Helping your children to meet their needs doesn’t mean you need to disregard your own. And you don’t need to turn yourself inside out to give your children everything they want.

But you do need to understand what those needs are. You can do this by running through our Child’s Needs Profile Questionnaire. I’ve made this easy to access via the button below. You can complete the profile on behalf of your children, but if they’re are old enough it’s better to go through it with them.

Children have the same basic needs as anyone else: Survival, Love and Belonging, Freedom, Fun and Power (success and acknowledgement).

According to Dr William Glasser, who first proposed the five basic needs; we’re all born with these needs. They don’t develop as we mature. You can see this in babies: some will want to be swaddled (high survival needs); some are unfazed being around lots of people (high love and belonging) and others are off as soon as they can crawl (high freedom and/or fun needs).

A child may seem to have an unquenchable need to know and do everything they possibly can (high fun); or maybe they find it hard to follow rules (high freedom).

Once you’ve identified the the needs that are more important to them, things they’ve struggled with will start to make sense. Everyone, including children, is genetically designed to meet their needs. Trying to get in the way of that will be stressful.

A Family Mindset

You’ll save yourself and your children a lot of stress if you develop a family mindset where everyone supports each other to meet their needs. This needs to happen fairly. And there’s a big difference between wants and needs. Needs are fundamental but there are infinite ways to meet them. A want is just one way that a need might be met.

This may be completely at odds with the way you were raised. Historically parents had all the power and children were seen and not heard. If your children have high survival needs and low needs for power and freedom, this may work for them. But it probably won’t work for long and it can cause a great deal of stress for all members of the family.

Meeting Everyone’s Needs

Understanding that everyone is just trying to meet their needs is a great place to start when developing an awesome family mindset.

  • Encourage your children to evaluate their own behaviour. Obviously, this needs to be done in age appropriate ways. Instead of telling them that they’re wrong or naughty, help them see the consequences of their behaviour. Help them to work out a better choice that will meet their needs.
  • Set up your environment with the basic needs of your family in mind as well as age considerations. For example; all toddlers love to explore. But a toddler with a high need for fun and freedom will be much easier to live with if you put away things that are precious or unsafe for them.

What Happens when your Needs conflict with the Needs of your Child?

Children have fewer options to meet their needs than adults. Take the example of the toddler above. If you have a high need for power and survival you may be meeting that need by having a beautiful home that you’re very proud of and that you thoroughly enjoy. The way you’re meeting your needs will clash with your toddler’s need for fun and freedom, causing stress.

  •  Understanding and accepting the importance of both your needs is the first step to reducing the stress of the situation.
    • Toddlers might not be able to give you suggestions of how to solve the problem. But their behaviour will.
      • What things intrigue them most?
      • When are they most adventurous?
      • How do they engage with her environment?
    • How could you adapt the environment and the time you spend with them in ways that meet both your needs?
      • Keep some less used rooms closed off and just the way you like them.
      • Consider time in childcare so that she can spend time in a more child friendly environment.
      • Make the rooms where they spend most of their time as safe, interesting and available to them as possible.
      • Allocate outside time, especially in parks and playgrounds for the most active times of the day.

To understand more about your needs and the needs of your children click the button below.

How does your family environment supports the needs of your family. If things are working well there’s likely to be a healthy level of stress. But if any members of your family are not able to meet their needs in appropriate ways, things will be uncomfortable for everyone to some degree. Difficulties also arise when some family members are meeting their needs at the expense of others. You can significantly improve this by introducing the ideal of a needs-satisfying family mindset that helps everyone to meet their needs in fair and compatible ways.

Developing this mindset within your family is invaluable for your children as they develop. By understanding their needs they’ll also better understand the choices they have available to them and the consequences of those choice. They’ll be less likely to be at the mercy of peer pressure and more confident to go after what they want in affective ways.

I hope you will check out our Needs Profile Page by clicking one of the buttons so that you can create an awesome family mindset for your family.

1 Comment

  1. This was such an insightful article about the family and BALANCE! I really enjoyed reading it and understanding the points about stress and how we need to look at all parties involved. (Children AND Adults). We all have needs and desires. Everyone is different and the family dynamic is important to assess how to move forward in a healthy way! Thanks again!

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