Teaching a child to differentiate between wants and needs

in Project HOPE2 months ago

As adults who work for money, we probably have a great idea about money already, we probably understand how to differentiate between the things that we need and some other things we merely desire, but kids most times believe that they should get what they want immediately, they believe that as long as they have the cash then they can just get whatsoever they want at sight.


As parents it is however our duty to make our kids understand that there is a difference between wants and needs, making them get the most value for every money they spend. It might not be as easy as it sounds when you are trying to convince a child about the reason why he or she needs to prioritize on the things spent on. So while reading this post, imagine that you have the mind of a child because I want to break down and explain the term of wants and needs in a way that little children will be able to understand.

Needs are things that we need to survive, needs are things that cannot be ignored as we go about our daily activities, as long as we live, we have to get those needs and whenever we have money, we need to choose to get those needs first before we look at getting other things. As long as we live, our bodies need to be kept in proper function and in order for that to happen, we need to get the necessities that our body needs which is food and water.

This explanation is essential for kids because most often when a thirsty kid is asked to choose between getting an ice cream and a bottle of water, the child will choose to go for the ice cream because it has a more pleasant taste and in real sense, what the child really needs is the water to quench his thirst, parents or guardian then have the responsibility of explaining to the child that at that moment, the ice cream is a mere want while water is a need.

A shelter is also a good example of a need, we need a place to keep our head safe and that is when the need for a comfortable shelter comes in, kids must be made to understand that a place to stay safe at night is a great need that cannot be ignored.

Now when it comes to want, it is most likely very desirable but it is not required for you to survive, you really like to have them but you can still survive without them and a very good example of that is your toys and games. After listening to an explanation like this, I believe that to a great extent, the child will be able to tell the difference between those things that are needs and those things that are wants.


Hello friend, I think it's a good topic, we must educate our next generation very well, make them see what is really important in life, luxuries and tastes can come later but it is always necessary to prioritize!

@tipu curate

good article, personally I try to use more the word desire than the word need because as you say there is a big difference that unfortunately our parents did not tell us at the time