Hierarchy of needs - Child psychology

Hierarchy of needs

Abraham Maslow proceeded from the fact that the formation of the child's personality is conditioned by the peculiarities of the elections that he performs in various cases. Any situation offers several opportunities for action, and human development is determined not by society and not by hereditary data, but by what direction the person will choose for his own activity. The choice of this or that possibility, in turn, depends on the needs that exist for a person. Needs according to A. Maslow do not exist in isolation from each other, but form a certain hierarchy. He presented it as a pyramid of needs. At the base of the pyramid are basic needs. They must be met first. Above them are the needs that can be met only after satisfying the needs underlying the pyramid; above them - the needs of the next level; and so up to the needs of the highest level. A. Maslow paid attention to the fact that if the need for a lower level is not met, all human activity will be directed at its satisfaction. In this case, the child simply will not be able to feel the needs of the next level, they will, as it were, "are obstructed" needs of a lower level.

The basic needs (which must be met first of all) are physiological needs. They are necessary for the child to physically exist. These include the needs for food, food, sleep, etc.

Following physiological needs, needs security and protection. These are the needs that provide the child with stability and reliability of existence. Especially clearly the dissatisfaction of this need is experienced by children during illness. Thus it is necessary to mean, that the infringements connected with disease proceeding, for the adult can seem to be frivolous; for the child they are extremely important. They are able to cause strong feelings and change the whole attitude. In this case, very often children ask parents to stay with them, they are afraid to remain alone in the room. If the child is sick, the adult should be very tactful and try to encourage him. Strong emotional experiences in younger preschool children are related to the surgical operations that they underwent. For example, a previous surgery to remove appendicitis may result in the child playing a doctor for a long time and "operating" their favorite toys. It is important to give the child the opportunity to master his negative experiences with the help of the game.

The scientist stressed that the adult person looks at the situation differently than the child. Sensing danger, he can hide his feelings. The child reacts with all of its being. For a child in pain, the whole world becomes grim. He may have a sense of horror. In this state, he will acutely feel the need for protection, in safety. He will seek salvation, first of all, from his mother. You can see how children literally cling to adults in situations related to threat experiences.

The following level of needs includes needs for love and belonging. The child has a need to be loved and considered his own. To meet these needs, he must establish a relationship of attachment with people close to him.

The next level is the need for self-esteem, which implies both own respect (pride in one's own achievements) and respect from other people.

The highest need, according to A. Maslow, is the need for self-actualization. One of the forms of its manifestations is creativity, which is understood by the psychologist not as the creation of any art work, but as the best fulfillment of the task .

Abraham Maslow said that if a person does not satisfy several needs at different levels (for example, the need for food and the need for respect), then first of all the need for a lower level will be satisfied. As soon as the need is satisfied, the need of the next level immediately appears in the person's mind and declares the need for its satisfaction. But as long as the needs of a lower level are not satisfied, this need is not realized by the person.

If the need for any level is not satisfied, then the development of man stops. It seems to focus on those needs that are not satisfied and can not move to the next level. The dissatisfaction of the needs of one or another level leads to a disruption in development and the appearance of negative experiences. So, if the child does not satisfy the needs of the lowest level (for example, the food requirement), then he will focus on them. Such a child will talk endlessly and think about food. Many parents know that if a child is thirsty on a hot day (the need for drinking is not satisfied), the child will always repeat "I want a thread". He will talk about this even if the adult does not have the opportunity to meet this need. It should be emphasized that the parent can try to draw the child's attention to the surrounding phenomena, but, according to A. Maslow, the result will be negative. The fact is that the need captures the whole person, and in this sense a person acts as a whole. Therefore, if a child is hungry or thirsty, he will no longer pay attention to other objects not directly related to the satisfaction of his need. That's why, when going to a museum with a child, do not forget about the need to meet primary needs, otherwise the child will not be able to perceive any works of art. It is interesting that adults behave in the same way. It can be noted that when the time for eating is approaching, the topic of eating begins to sound in the conversations of adults.

The scientist noted that the satisfaction of the need for security and protection is no less important. Satisfaction of this need implies observance of a certain regime of the day. If the child is not required to eat at a certain time, do his own toilet or go to bed, it can lead to the emergence of childish fears, because in the environment of the child there will be no stability, and the child will not know what to prepare for. In general, any inconsistency in the behavior of adults increases uncertainty and develops the child's fear of the world around him.

A great influence on the development of the child's personality has a need for love and belonging. Very often in the interaction of preschool children there are such circumstances when one child says to another: "Go away, I do not like you!" Children acutely experience such situations, because they passionately want to be loved. Therefore, the adult's task is to orient children toward a positive attitude towards each other.

The satisfaction of the needs of the next level - the need for self-esteem - is also associated with a positive attitude. It is satisfied through a positive attitude towards oneself, which assumes a positive attitude towards the child of other children. If satisfaction of this need is violated, then the child can behave in a dependent way, seeks to please adults or children in order to receive their positive attention. This is especially evident in the preschool age, when the child brings interesting toys to the kindergarten in order to achieve a positive attitude towards themselves peers. However, in practice, this behavior leads to negative consequences - other children begin to relate not to the child himself, but to those subjects that he brings. As a result, all communication is reduced to the child bringing interesting toys.

thematic pictures

Also We Can Offer!

Other services that we offer

If you don’t see the necessary subject, paper type, or topic in our list of available services and examples, don’t worry! We have a number of other academic disciplines to suit the needs of anyone who visits this website looking for help.

How to ...

We made your life easier with putting together a big number of articles and guidelines on how to plan and write different types of assignments (Essay, Research Paper, Dissertation etc)