Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
In order to fulfil your full potential, a person must meet certain requirements for personal growth. Our resident psychotherapist, Rosan Ouwerkerk, explains how this applies to your children
Psychologist Abraham Maslow stated that people are motivated to achieve certain needs. When one level of needs is fulfilled a person seeks to fulfill the next one, and so on. In this article, I will discuss Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (1943), which is often depicted in a pyramid. As well I will explain how each level relates to the education of children.
- air, food, drink, shelter, warmth, sleep. These needs are primary; we need them to survive. The development of the higher levels is impeded if there is a lack of primary needs. This level represents the importance of regular nutrition and care for children.
Safety needs -
protection, security, order, stability. Basic trust arises if the physiological and safety needs are fulfilled. Basic trust grows in contact with the caregiver (mostly the parents) who serves as a nurturing and caring person and is the first to represent safety. Here lays the foundation of trust in yourself, the people around you, humanity, and the world.
Love and belonging needs
friendship, intimacy, affection and love. Love is based on acceptance and reciprocity and implies a healthy intimate relation based on trust. We have the social need to connect with people, to belong to a community. In a child’s life, this level represents the importance of unconditional love, acceptance
and a place in the peer group.
achievement, mastery, independence, self-respect, and the respect received from others. Experiences of success at school (learning results) and at home (self-dependency) are crucial for further child development.
Self-actualization needs -
self-fulfillment, seeking personal growth and peak experiences. Only if the previous levels have been fulfilled, we come to complete self-fulfillment. We have no fears that hinder us; we do not feel restricted by competition for a place in a group. We feel free from valuation or assessment of others. Based on the We have the social need to connect with people, to belong to a community. In a child’s life, this level represents the importance of unconditional love, acceptance and a place in the peer group. achievement of self-confidence, we can develop ourselves without impediments within ourselves or from outside. This level would be reached in adulthood if children were able to fulfill the other four levels of needs.
Concerning psychotherapy the second level is crucial: lack of safety can be an obstacle for the rest of our lives. If people get stuck on this level, they often suffer from tremendous anxiety. Therapy can help to strengthen the basic trust.
Rosan Ouwerkerk is a Dutch registered psychotherapist and she runs a private practice in Playa del Carmen. If you think her help is required, you can contact her: firstname.lastname@example.org.
When one’s need is met a person seeks to fulfill the next one / Photo: FreeImages