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Parenting Tips - Building School Power - Fill Their Backpacks With Basic Needs

Updated on May 27, 2014
Join hands.  Together, everyone can succeed!
Join hands. Together, everyone can succeed!

At the beginning of a new school year, you purchased all the recommended school supplies. You shopped for just the right shoes, jeans, and backpacks, but were there other essential supplies that your child needed to make it a successful year?

Whether it's the beginning of a new school year or long past the point where that those supplies don't look so new anymore, you should always make sure that the backpack is full of the most important school supplies: basic human needs!

With these supplies, your child will feel

  • empowered,
  • motivated, and
  • resilient!

So what are these "basic human needs" and where do you find them?

Fill Their Backpack With Basic Human Needs!

Let's focus on Maslow's Basic Human Needs - Physiological (food, shelter, water,sleep), Safety (security), Love/Belonging (friendship/family), Esteem (confidence, respect of and for others), and Self-actualization (reaching one's full potential).

These are the real back to school supplies. Without these, a brain is not able to process information and use it effectively to do that project, pass that test, collaborate on that team, or make good social decisions.

So let's fill that backpack with basic human needs!


It's a Hierarchy!

The base of the pyramid is physiological needs. This includes a basic need for shelter, food, water and sleep. With these pieces solidly in place, you give your child the gift of stamina.

Shelter - Kids need to know where they go at the end of their school day. If they struggle with inconsistent living arrangements, it's understandable that it would be hard to concentrate on learning something.

Food - While the school will provide a lunch, if necessary, it is unbelievably important that all of us have the right things to eat all day long. Without the right breakfast, a student will grow tired by mid morning. Overall eating habits will effect brain functions as well as physical ability and health.

Water - hydration - is so important. We all know this but we have so many other choices of things to drink that we often forget that all we really need is water.

Sleep - No notebook, pencil, pen or electronic assistive device will ever be as useful a tool as having enough sleep! This is a frustrating one for most parents, so I located a link that gives great suggestions for the appropriate amount of sleep by age but also tips for how to help with bedtime routines.

We all know that these things are necessary but, truthfully, without adequate amounts of each of them, your child will not have the stamina to deal with the demands of a school day. Stamina means that your child has the energy to think, create, articulate, retrieve information, share, debate, negotiate, locate, and organize.

So, pack their backpack with this ample amounts of physiological needs!

Kids need to trust that they are safe.
Kids need to trust that they are safe.

Is It Safe To Learn?

We all know how we feel when we are afraid. We are totally focused on the wall of fear.

So, it's the same for a child. There are so many things that can cause fear. The number one issue getting lots of press today is the issue of Bullying. Please check out the link. It gives information as well as tips for how to identify the signs if your child is being bullied and/or if your child is acting as a bully. There are ways to stop it and it must be stopped.

Other things that cause fear, though, are our expectations. Sometimes the child has unrealistic expectations as well. Either way it may cause the child to fear not being able to meet those expectations. Dr. Michelle Borba has always been a great resource for me. In this link, she speaks specifically about the harm that can be caused by having unrealistic expectations. Setting expectations is important. Helping your child achieve goals is highly encouraged. But everything needs to stay in a range that feels safe because if fear sets in, the focus of the learning has changed.

Will you love me no matter what?
Will you love me no matter what?

Can Your Child Feel The Love?

We all say we love our kids but for a child's brain to be free to learn new things, he/she needs to have confidence and confidence comes for feeling loved and accepted. Empowerment is the key. This article identifies the power of empowerment but also shares things that we might say or do that subtracts from our child's feelings of empowerment.

Kids also need to feel that they are accepted within their social circle. For many students, it's the friends at school that get them up every day. As a parent, you can do so much to help a child develop into a person who is a good friend. A child who knows how to be a friend always has friends. Check out this site for ideas to help your child develop good social skills early on.

Self actualization completes the circle!
Self actualization completes the circle!

Help Them To Be All That They Can Be!

The last basic human need has been called "self-actualization". It's the desire to reach your goals, to be the best you can be, to accomplish dreams. Gabby Douglas is the perfect example right now of a child who had a skill that became a desire. But she wouldn't have won those gold medals at the olympics if she had not had the help and support of her mother!

All people are born with a desire to learn. As parents and teachers, we can help them pursue interests. Sometimes those interests, if supported, can turn into aspirations. Be there to support your child. Be there to encourage each small step. Celebrate accomplishments with them. Pick them up when they fall. Show them that it's ok to take risks. Allow them opportunities to be creative and to express themselves. Help them find their passions.

Fill Their Backpacks Well!

So, this year, as you are helping your child pick out just the right notebooks and jeans, markers, pens, pencils, calculators, and technology to fulfill the school's supply list, don't forget to fill their backpack full of support. Help them to know that they can count on you to be there with shelter, food, and water but then you are also there to help them make good choices, make safe choices, develop good friendships, and reach their ultimate dreams.

Love them unconditionally and they will soar in school.


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    • jpesch1 profile image

      Jane Peschel 5 years ago from Currently living in Franklin, Wisconsin

      Thank you millsc.

    • profile image

      millsc 5 years ago

      Awesome hub!!!!!! Truly awesome!!!

    • jpesch1 profile image

      Jane Peschel 5 years ago from Currently living in Franklin, Wisconsin

      Welcome Back to a new school year, TeachableMoments, and all parents and children. It will be a great school year!

    • TeachableMoments profile image

      TeachableMoments 5 years ago from California

      Very nice hub. I smiled while reading this beautiful hub. I strongly agree with everything you wrote. Children need to know they are loved, truly loved, unconditionally. Parents need to validate their child for all the small things they do. Sometimes the smallest things are the most important.

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 5 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      What a nice way of putting this altogether...ultimately love does go a long way. Voted up:)

      Congratulations on your Hubnuggets nomination. Head this way to read and vote Have fun!

    • jpesch1 profile image

      Jane Peschel 5 years ago from Currently living in Franklin, Wisconsin

      Thanks, I think sometimes, in the flurry of buying for back to school, we sometimes forget.

    • StegToDiffer profile image

      Spunk Nellie 5 years ago from New York, NY

      Nice Hub! Way to incorporate the "needs pyramid," that's a good lens to look through when buying school supplies (or anything at all, really.) Voted useful.