Children are like arrows. Parenting is like fashioning arrows.
When I learned about my pregnancy, it was literally a flood of emotions in my system. Worries, excitement, doubt, fear, questions they all came out at once. Parenting seems to be a herculean task for me. The whole 9 months of conception was dedicated to mastering the art of becoming a parent through books, blogs, friends and almost every resources I can get my hands on for a fresh load of information. But despite it all, the moment I heard my precious one’s cry I knew, I have a whole lot more to learn.
A few months ago, I was able to attend one of the parenting seminars conducted by our local church Victory Fort Bonifacio. There I was able to meet new and experienced moms alike. I learned new things by listening to their experiences. On top of it all, I learned that it’s a season where mistakes are inevitable and acceptable. Yes, you read it right, it is acceptable because no one really knew parenting the moment you were born. It’s something you learn with your child so, go easy with yourself.
In the course of the talk, one topic caught my interest the most. It talks about the stages of parenting. I learned that parenting style depends on your child’s age. As your little one matures, so thus your relationship with him.
Stages of Parenting
1. Telling or Disciplining Stage
(0-6 yrs old/Pre-school)
This is where parents do almost everything for the child. You have full authority and at the same time the responsibility to help them do and not do things. The challenge is to play the role of authority appropriately. It’s all about the game of setting rules, consequences and reward.
2. Training Stage
(7-12 yrs old/Elementary)
Ellen Galinsky, author of the book The Six Stages of Parenthood, call this the Interpretative stage. Kids at this stage are inquisitive. This is the time where you need to be more cautious of what you say and how you say things. It’s a stage of value formation, chore-training and manner development. Here, you train them to do things on their own. Galinsky described this as a demanding and challenging process for all parents.
3. Coaching Stage
(13-19 yrs old/Teens)
This is where your child transitions from children to young adults. As a parent your role is to guide your child in making their own decisions by offering suggestions and informing them of possible consequences.
4. Friendship Stage
(20 yrs and up)
This is said to be the most difficult stage as it requires letting go. According to Galinsky, prolonged authority often results to resistance and perhaps resentment. You should learn how to become available while respecting independence.
These phases are not definite and often overlap. It depends upon how your child moves from one phase to the other.
The degree of authority and responsibility lessen as your child grow and mature. Do not fall into the trap of reversing the process. As much as we want to shower our little ones of all the love we can give, it is more important to help mold them into the beings they should become. And at the perfect time, release them to hit their very own targets. Their destiny. After all as one saying goes, “An arrow is not meant to stay on a quiver. It is meant to hit a target.”
If you have additional parenting tips and suggestions, you can let us know by leaving a comment below.