Today’s post is on the importance of belonging. The need to belong is especially true for children. As a parent, supporting your children and helping them feel that they belong is critical to their growth.
Everyone needs to belong to a group; with children the group that they belong to should be their family, friends, church group or club. When children are young, they belong to the group that is their family. As they grow and start school, they belong to one or more groups of friends and possibly, they belong to clubs and sports teams.
Belonging is one of the most basic and important needs in society. Children who do not feel they belong become alienated and feel insecure. There may be times when your children choose the wrong group. During those times, it is important to guide your children to belong to groups that support and encourage them.
As a principal, I have worked with many students that did not feel that they belonged anywhere. This is very sad and especially true during the junior high years. There is nothing more important than supporting your children to help them feel that they belong.
Here are 3 simple tips that you can use to guide your children:
1. Support your child within the family unit. Make sure that your child feels part of the family and that he is an active participant. Take time to have ‘quality time’ together as a family.
2. Monitor your child’s friends and acquaintances; both friends that your child meets and online friends.
3. Encourage your child to belong to one or more supportive groups, such as church, sports or academic clubs.
“To maintain a joyful family requires much from both the parents and the children.
Each member of the family has to become,
in a special way, the servant of the others.”
Pope John Paul II