Wants and Needs: How to Show Our Kids the Difference

“What do you think mommy needs?” I asked my 7-year-old daughter between homeschool lessons. It was a random question, but I knew she wouldn’t mind.

She thought for a moment. “Needs or wants?”

What a great reply. I didn’t expect her to take it there.

“That’s a good question,” I said with a smile.

“Cause I know what you want but need is kinda harder to say,” she said. “I know! You NEED lots of rest cause you’re growing a baby. And you also need lots of love.”

“Yea, that’s right!” I encouraged.

“You WANT to buy a new house,” she laughed. I laughed too at her response. “What? It’s true, that’s what you want!”

My little girl was spot on on both accounts. Now she wanted to change up the game.

“Ok now what do you think I want?” She asked while bouncing up and down.

I think for a moment and instantly land on the correct answer.

“Your baby sister,” I said.

“YES! And what do I need?” She asked.

“Lots of hugs and love and attention.”

Right again.

We’ve had a few conversations about the difference between wants and needs and I’m glad they’ve seemed to sink in.

A homeschool day in the life. Our homeschool routine.

Once again I’m proud to be partnering with Responsibility.org as a #TalkEarly ambassador to discuss the importance of open and honest conversations with our kids.

The phrase “mommy needs wine” is a popular cliché that’s circled the social media space, t-shirts, socks and more for years. We don’t even drink alcohol and my daughter’s asked me a time or two to remind her what wine is and why people say they need it when she hears someone mention it. I think that says a lot about how powerful messages are and how jokes that are meant for parents are actually getting through to our children.

There are nights I look forward to staying up after everyone’s gone to bed and enjoying a dessert and TV show. I savor that time alone. In a way, every now and then that time is needed to keep me sane. But I’m trying to be more careful not to give the appearance that a break from being her mom to have a sweet food indulgence is something I need. Or at least let her know that she’s not responsible for my needing quiet alone time, that it’s something I enjoy.

April is Alcohol Responsibility Month and a  great time to reevaluate the messages we’re sending, and conversations we’re having with our children about alcohol.

“Mommy needs wine” is just one of those widespread clichés I’m not a big fan of. Along with “boys will be boys” “If you think it’s bad now, just wait until they get older” and “Enjoy your sleep now” when you’re pregnant. 1. It’s not like sleeping is super enjoyable when you’re laying with a watermelon attached to you. 2. Even if I could enjoy my sleep now, it’s not like I can bank it and save it for rough days later on. There’s only so much sleep one can do in a day.

I’m a part of the #TalkEarly team and we partnered up to debunk some of the most common clichés. Check out this fun video to see some others!

Can you relate? What cliché can’t you stand?

I am a paid ambassador for #TalkEarly. This post is sponsored by Responsibility.org, the story and all opinions are my own.

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Picta says:

Your little girl is so intelligent and sweet~

Jennifer says:

I really think she is. Thank you for your sweet comment.

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Hi! I’m Jennifer Borget


I'm a former journalist, and lifelong creator striving to make the world a better place. This is the space where I share my journey in making the most of every day by cherishing our individuality and celebrating our differences.

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