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Raising Emotionally Healthy Children: Acceptance

Submitted by on February 3, 2013 – 2:13 pmNo Comment

Third in a Series of Articles on Raising Emotionally Healthy Children

Read the first article in this series: Respect

Read the second article in the series: Important

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Free Kindle download of Dr. Newmark’s book  from Thursday, February 7 – midnight Sunday, February 10. English version, Spanish version

Guest Post from The Children’s Project

The third critical emotional need of children is to feel Accepted.  Accepting children means listening, trying to understand them, and accepting their right to their own points of view, feelings, desires, opinions, concerns, and ideas. If we act in a way that condemns or ridicules feelings or opinions of children, the implication may be that there is something wrong with them. When that happens, you reduce the chances of their listening to you and of your being able to influence them.

Children can feel unaccepted when parents do the following:

  • Overreact/Respond Emotionally
  • Try to suppress the child’s feelings
  • Be overly critical

When instead, a parent would foster a feeling of the child feeling accepted by:

  • Accepting the child’s desire and discuss them amicably
  • Understand that feelings aren’t right or wrong and the child has a right to them; don’t’ talk them his out of them
  • “Don’t’ sweat the small stuff”
  • Catch your child doing something right and acknowledge them for it

Acceptance is not permissiveness.

It’s not giving children free license to act in any way they wish. Also, remember the distinction between wants and needs. You never will be able to satisfy all of your child’s wants, nor would it be good for a child if you could. On the other hand, as parents we must make every effort possible to satisfy our children’s critical emotional needs.  Accept your children as people in their own right and act accordingly.

Next time, we’ll be discussing the emotional need to feel Included.


Did your family do much together when you were growing up?  Or were you sent to your room when your parents had company?  Were you protected from the truth – which everyone knew about but no one discussed?

Do you ask your child’s opinion on important things or how they feel after a big family argument or event, such as a remarriage?  Or let them listen to you and your spouse discuss anything significant?

To learn more about Dr. Newmark and The Children’s Project go to You can also visit us on facebook: and follow our tweets on twitter: @emotionalhealth. To order the book How To Raise Emotionally Healthy Children by Dr. Gerald Newmark go to  Available in book, Kindle and audio.



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