• Erica Tatum-Sheade, LCSW

Encouraging Connection With Your Child

Understanding The Crucial C's of Childhood



During our 3E Parenting Workshop, one of the concepts we cover is the “Crucial C’s of Childhood.” The Crucial C’s were identified as the four things we need to master in childhood in order to move into adulthood as thriving, resilient adults. If one of our Crucial C’s is lacking or is low, we tend to see behaviors that are trying to get that need met. Some of these behaviors may be seen as negative by caregivers and feel counter-productive and counterintuitive, but the reality is that a child’s need is to be seen and heard. If asking for those needs to be met in a positive way does not work, they will resort to the behavior that gets the focus of their caregiver.

The Crucial C’s of Childhood are: Courage, Capable, Count, and Connection. They can be explained simply like this:


Courage: Children need to feel that they can take risks and try new things. Encouraging courage in our children means we help them understand that they can face what comes their way, that no matter what happens they can handle it.


Capable: Our children need to feel as if they are capable of doing things. As caregivers, this Crucial C is developed when we allow them to complete and master tasks.


Count: Our children need to know that they matter in the world. Encouraging this looks like letting our kids know that they are significant to us and to those with whom they have relationships.