Developing independence

I’ve been thinking a bit recently about how Maslow’s hierarchy of needs can be applied to bringing up a child (no idea why I started thinking about it though!).

Maslow's hierarchy of needs
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs

Now Maslow split an individual’s needs into different categories and claimed that you needed to have the lower ones fulfilled before you were worried about/interested in the higher ones. (As a gross generalisation anyway.) I was applying this to children and the common drive to “develop independence” in babies and toddlers along with the common frowning on those that are seen to be too clingy. Surely this makes it worse, as you need to feel safe, secure and loved in order to develop self-confidence? Which agrees with what Maslow was saying – self-confidence is one of the higher “needs”. So by pushing your child away you’re more likely to be undermining the lower-level needs and so delaying their development of independence. I try to hold my little boy as close as possible (until he pushes me away) and I will do my best to be there when he needs reassurance and support.

I’m sure this can be written more clearly, but this is more just a place-holder for an idea that’s been going round my head for a little while. Maybe one day I’ll expand on it…

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