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As an adult responsible for a child, you must always remember that the family environment is the most profound factor in the child’s development. The attachments and fulfilment of his or her most basic needs during childhood will stay with him/her for the rest of their lives. Any disadvantage or deprivation will most likely be amplified into adulthood and cause more intense problems in the future.

According to experts, children have five core emotional needs, namely:

  1. Secure attachment to others that leads to safety and stability
  2. A sense of autonomy, competence, and identity
  3. Freedom to express invalid needs and emotions
  4. Spontaneity and play
  5. Realistic limits and self-control

If these needs are not adequately met, a child develops coping mechanisms, which can include personali-ty disorder traits, resistant and defiant behavior, depression and anxiety, and other behavioral problems such as substance use and negative peer associations. A stable home with consistent and realistic expec-tations and relationships, preferably in a supportive and friendly environment, is the most effective foundation of a well-functioning child. Even perfect circumstances will not guarantee that a child is well-adjusted but it offers the best likelihood. The reverse is also true. Even the most adverse and hostile situations don’t promise a maladaptive, “bad” child, but it certainly increase the probability.

It is your, as the parent or caregiver’s responsibility to do as much as possible to provide support to the children. You may also have known adversity in your life, but this responsibility asks that you put the interests of the child first. This also means that you should address any problems that may interfere with or obstruct your ability to provide care and guidance, including improving your own skills and getting help for mood instability or behavioral issues that you may suffer. The examples that you provide in terms of relationships and behavior will forever remain with your child.

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