Family Yardstick


The National Association of Mental Health has listed ten basic needs of youth - criteria necessary to support the healthy growth of a young person through his transition years between childhood and adulthood.

1. Acceptance — Every child should believe his parents need for him/her in their family, whether his actions are proper or if they misbehave and do things unacceptable.

2. Control  —  A child needs to know that there are limits to what he/she is permitted to do and that his parents will hold him to those limits;  he/she must be taught self-control to avoid hurting himself and others when he/she feels jealousy or anger.

3. Faith  —  Every child needs a set of standards to live by, a belief in human values, kindness, courage, honesty, generosity, and justice.

4. Guidance  —  Each child needs to have friendly help in learning how to behave toward people and things;  adults around him should show by example how to get along with others.

5. Independence  —  A child needs to know his parents have confidence in him and will help him develop his/her ability to do good things for himself/herself and others.

6. Love  —  Young people need to know their parents love them, want them, and enjoy them;  that he/she matters to someone and that there are people around him/her who care what happens to him.

7. Praise  —  Every young person needs approval. A child, like adults, needs a “pat on the back” for something good they have accomplished. It is not small.  It is important to a child.

8. Protection  —  A child needs to know his/her parents want him safe from harm;  that they will help him when he feels a strange or frightening situation.

9. Recognition  —  Every child needs to be recognized for what he/she is inside and outside the home. Consider him/her in planning a new home, vacation, changing the color of his/her room, etc.

10. Security  —  Young people need to know their home is a place of safety and that their parents will be around in time of need, that they does belong to, and are an important member of their family.

How does YOUR FAMILY measure up??!