Your parents and my parents did some things great in raising us. Other things may have scarred us for life. How do you become successful parents as your children mature through the four stages of childhood?
Even though we always wear the moniker ‘Parent,’ how that title plays out needs to change as our children develop from birth through school and on into the world. I talk to many parents whose biggest struggle with raising their kids centers on their inability to transition from stage to stage. Like it or not, children grow up. So understanding our role as parent’ from stage to stage is critical in the healthy emotional development of our children.
Here are the four stages through which parents must transition. The educational ages stated here are obviously a generalization but they can provide a guide for you as you learn to grow through each wonderful stage:
“The Nurturer”: Birth through pre-school. At this stage, we are the main source of everything for our child. Their basics of survival completely depend on our ability to nurture and provide for their every need. Parents make decisions for them you are their brain.
“The Parent”: 1st – 6th grades: This stage is called the “Classic Parenting” stage. We begin to help them learn the basics of being a developing child; enrolling and guiding them through their first real educational experiences and teaching them what it means to be a human being. At this point, we are truly neck deep in action of parenting – having main control over their daily lives. But as they progress through these stages, you have to begin transferring ownership of their life from you to them.
“The Coach”: 7th – 10th grades: The greatest holistic changes happen during these years in our child and as such, so does our role. We now need to begin transitioning from having main control over their lives – as in “The Parent” stage – to allow them to make some of their own choices, fail and learn. We “Coach” them by helping them think through the consequences of their actions and providing clear and age appropriate expectations of their behavior. The tactics of this stage actually start earlier, but this is when you really need to let them fail and learn.
- Questions for them: “I think this is the best but what do you think? Does that sound good to you?”
- Questions for them: “Wow that’s a good question (or situation or predicament). What do you think you should do?”
Very Important: When do you suppose are the most troubling times for parents and kids? In the transitions.
Who has the most struggle generally between men and women? Generally women. Studies show women are more apt to want to keep children safe.