Can you believe it? You are a parent. You brought a child into this world and are ultimately responsible for them. Their physical, educational, emotional and spiritual needs. Wow! That is a lot of pressure. Every parent wants to raise his or her child correctly.

  1. Physical needs. Of course you need to provide food, water, shelter, clothes and medical attention for your children. Some parents forget that physical also includes, exercise, playing, and touch. Exercise should be masked by fun…jumping, hopping, running, swimming, throwing, batting, kicking, aiming, sliding, swinging, climbing, bicycling and tumbling. Make up games that involve action. Get out with your children, by exercising with them you are building memories and getting more fit. Play with your kids. Laugh. Smile. Spend quality time doing what they want to do. Touch is so important. When an infant comes into your home, you want to hold, rock and cuddle all day long. As your child grows more independent, for some reason the touch lessens too. They can hold their own bottle, crawl, walk, reach something on their own. It seems that you have to choose to make a special moment for meaningful touch. The best time I've found for this is right when they wake up in the morning. It starts the day off on the right foot. When children enter the grade school and teenage years, they might start withdrawing from touch (especially in front of peers). It is crucial to continue to have that time of touch, tickling their back, giving them a massage, wrestling, high fives, or noogies.

  2. Educational needs. Read, read, read. Pick a time everyday when you can stop and sit down to read together. Take advantage of teachable moments with your children: If you are eating goldfish crackers, throw in a little math. If you are grocery shopping teach them about different foods, nutrition, prices, lbs and ounces. As you are driving, read signs or talk about distance, direction and traffic rules. As you are cooking, involve your children with the preparation. Teach them discipline and responsibility by incorporating household chores and organizing personal items. After your children get home from school, go over any homework issues and always stay in good communication with teachers.

  3. Emotional needs. Security, Significance and Strength are essential emotional needs. Security is a feeling that everything is OK. "The world around me is safe." "I have friends." "My parents love each other and me." I will have my next meal. Significance is "I am important", "I have purpose", "I am here for a reason". As a parent, you need to show your child that they are significant to you, the family and the world around them. Strength is knowing who you are and where you stand. You need to raise your kids in such a way that they are strong individuals, confident and true to themselves.

  4. Spiritual needs. Children are spiritual beings too. As a parent, it is vital that you guide them to the truth. Provide experiences for them to grow in their belief. Encourage them to talk to you about questions that they have. Motivate them to continue in their spiritual journey through their life and to maintain an eternal perspective on this earth.