Dr. Benna Strober Licensed Child and Teen Psychologist Mt. Kisco NYIt’s that time of year, the kids are in the full swing of school and in their groove.. or are they? Do you find you’re needing to push your son to study longer? When you check on your daughter’s homework is she instead having a Netflix marathon while face-timing 3 friends?

Remember, all kids have basic needs and if you can meet those needs you can predict you’ll have cooperative and motivated kids. Our job as parents is to set a climate in whatever setting where the kids will be most responsive to listening to us. Here are their three basic needs and how we can help them meet them.

1) The need to feel you belong and are connected. Friend groups are very important to your   kids. Let them spend time with their friends in between homework and studying. You can also help them feel like the integral member of your family that they are by having them help out (even if they resist and grumble at you when asked) and always make them feel welcome.

2)    The need to feel a sense of autonomy (self determination). We all want to feel
we have some control over what occurs in our lives. Use words like “choices” and “decisions” when asking their opinions (not that you have to agree with it.)

3)     The need to feel competent. Focus on their strengths and what they do right.
Take a risk and give them a chance first to have success.