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How To Raise Emotionally Healthy Children

How To Raise Emotionally Healthy Children

Meeting the Five Critical Needs of Children…and Parents Too!

                                            By Dr. Gerald Newmark

5 Critical Emotional Needs

  • Respected – For a child to feel respected, they need to be treated in a courteous, thoughtful, attentive, and civil manner – as individuals, deserving of the same courtesy and consideration as others.
  • Important – A child needs to feel: “I have value. I am useful. I have power. I am somebody.”
  • Accepted – Children need to feel accepted as individuals in their own right, with their uniqueness.  This means children have a right to their own feelings, opinions, ideas, concerns, wants and needs.
  • Included – Children need to feel they belong, to feel a part of things, to feel connected to other people, to have a sense of community.
  • Secure – Security means creating a positive environment where people care about one another and show it; where enough structure exist for children to feel safe and protected, and where children have opportunities to actively participate in their own evolution and that of the family.

Family Situations

  • In interaction with children, how you do something is as important as what you do.
  • There are behaviors that help and there are behaviors that hurt.
  • Approach situations with the attitude that every interaction with our children is an opportunity to teach and to learn, to connect or disconnect, and with the intention of creating endless connections

Recollections from Childhood

  • Parents have a great impact on children.
  • Parents are the main role models for children.  A parent’s influence is significant on a child, often lasting well into adulthood and frequently affecting how a child will raise their own children.
  • Parents can read through chapter 3 and identify positive and negative behaviors they currently engage in.  Once the behavior is identified then they can make changes.
  • As parents, we need to become more conscience students of our own behavior.

Becoming a Professional at Parenting

  • Parenting is probably the most important and most difficult responsibility anyone of us might have in a lifetime.  Ironically, it’s rare that parents set aside time to question how well they are doing.
  • Essential elements of professionalism: making conscious decisions, having a game plan, becoming a student of one’s own behavior, having an experimental attitude.
  • Adopting the five critical needs as core values to guide behavior. Page 85
  • Changing habits or starting new habits is not easy.  Chapter 4 outlines suggested game plans to help the transition from concept to action.

Overcoming Obstacles and Taking Control

  • Becoming a professional at parenting means becoming a more conscious parent.
  • Recognize if you feel overwhelmed, it’s an indication you are doing too much and/or behaving inefficiently.
  • Prepare to-do list, prioritize and schedule, create additional time
  • Realize you will never be able to do it all.

Strengthening Families and Schools


  • To create a sense of community families need to be involved with one another – to do things together.
  • Preparation for meeting the child’s critical emotional needs should begin during pregnancy, and behavior to meet these emotional needs should begin at the same time and continue when the child is born.
  • It is never too late to start adopting the 5 critical needs and making positive changes.


  • Next to the family, schools have the greatest influence in meeting the 5 critical needs of children.
  • The Children’s Project is a grassroots, non-commercial effort, by Dr. Gerald Newmark and Deborah Newmark designed to help schools meet the 5 critical needs of children.
  • As children experience what it is like to feel respected, important, accepted, included and secure and these needs become a home and school value, the kids are more likely to become self-confident, independent, thinking, caring, civic-minded individuals.


Go to to order this MUST-HAVE book for your family! Available in English and Spanish versions.