Aap Aur Hum

Monthly News Letter


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March 2022

The Needs of Young Children


Why does my child cry? This is the agony of a perplexed mother on the first day of her child going to school. Some children take their own time to adjust to the new environment. And yet, you may find some children quite relaxed consoling others. What could be the reasons? The answers may not fully lie with the school. They are often linked to the child's experience of satisfaction or deprivation

of his/her basic needs. What are the basic needs of a young child as a growing and developing person?


Physical wellbeing is important for all children. Children should receive proper physical care, an adequate and well-balanced diet, suitable clothing, sufficient sleep, rest and exercise. It should be the concern of every parent and

teacher to help children develop into healthy individuals. Physiological needs of children cannot be satisfied in isolation. For instance, you must have experienced your child’s demand that you carry him/her although he/she can walk independently. It is not that they are lazy but they look for attention, warmth and care of people around them. It is an attempt to satisfy their basic needs.


Security and acceptance are part of children's socio-emotional needs that provide the foundations for their future development. Children require continuous and consistent love from people around them. This love is best expressed in the early years by direct physical contact, by being responsive, and also by satisfying their need for food.


This helps them to become secure and confident individuals. Children need a nurturing environment where they are cared for, loved, accepted and encouraged. The satisfaction of socio-emotional needs helps them to develop a basic

trust in people around them and experience a sense of belongingness. It is only when they are feeling secure within themselves that they begin to establish satisfactory relationships with people around them. Emotional stability

is one of the greatest influences in a child's ability to learn. Children develop confidence in the world around them and in people, if their needs are met.


At this stage, the cognitive needs of young children are to explore and experiment with things in the environment and master basic skills. Exploration, which forms the basis of learning, is through the five senses. They need an environment which will arouse and satisfy their curiosity; they need problems to be solved. If these challenges are presented to them at the right time, in a way to ensure

some measures of success, they become happy children.


How do we meet basic needs of children?


  • The child is born into a family. It is the members of the family who provide satisfaction to the basic needs of children. For young children, school is an extension of their home, so the responsibility lies with the teachers at school as well.

  • Parents at home and teachers at school need to provide a nurturing environment. Children need to get love, care and warmth. This will help in building up a sense or security and acceptance. Research on children has shown that a secure child tends to be happy, active and confident while an insecure child tends to be fearful, dependent and low in self-esteem.

  • Taking care of physiological needs such as a balanced diet, proper rest, sleep and exercise help in the physical well-being of children. If these needs are satisfied, children develop into healthy, happy children.

  • We need to provide a stimulating environment where children get the opportunity to express freely, explore the environment, and get appropriate material, attention and care.

  • Parents and teachers should know about these basic needs of children so that they are able to respond appropriately.


Dr. Amita Govinda