Below is a re-print of one of my columns from years past. It occurs to me that the “inner child” in all of us benefits as much or more as an actual child from the following list. My mission is to teach, as many adults as possible, the gift of how to “parent” themselves better.




What Children Need


Dear Karen Kaye,

I am not always confident about my parenting skills. Please share with me your thoughts on what I, as a parent, need to concentrate on in order to raise a happy, healthy child.




Dear Marlene,

Based on your question, you sound like an awake, concerned parent who wants to do a good job. That’s half the battle!


Always remember that parenting is your job and comes with joys, as well as challenges; and like any other job, we as parents need to sharpen our skills continuously, ask questions and take pride in the job we do.


Listed below are some of my thoughts. I hope they help your quest.

  1. Children need to be seen and heard.
  2. Children need a safe place to come to; emotionally as well as physically.
  3. Children need to “air” their feelings completely; without interruption nor need for agreement; definitely without fear.
  4. Children need to be themselves; without labels and comparisons.
  5. Children need “loving boundaries;” established for them and kept.
  6. Children need “quiet time” every day; and older children need alone time to gather their thoughts and feelings.
  7. Children need “family time.”
  8. Children need structure.
  9. Children need play time at every age.
  10. Children need someone who will love them and believe in them, even if they have “goofed-up,” so that the children will learn to love and believe in themselves (including the good, the bad, and the ugly).



Karen Kaye, LMHC


Divorce, marriage, and parenting are all specialties of the practice of Karen Kaye, LMHC.  She has written and published a book for children of divorce titled: “My Parents Are Getting a Divorce…I Wonder What Will Happen to Me.” You can visit for more information or you can purchase a copy of the book at