Your Role in Your Child’s Development

Raise Kids

In the ideal family, the basic respect that is extended to adults is also extended to children. Each child is viewed as a unique person in his/her own right; separate from other children, adults, parents and family members. There is an interest in this new individual who is at the beginning of life, and is developing and unfolding as a person. The parents are aware of the value they can have to their children during the early, developmental years. They consider it their responsibility to offer their guidance and support as their children make the journey through childhood, starting out as dependent infants and emerging as independent, autonomous adults.

Your Kids’ Journey

For this reason, it is advisable to be informed about the successive stages of a child’s development. With this knowledge, you will be able to offer encouragement and support as your children pass through the different stages of childhood and move toward adulthood. You will be sensitive to the appropriate amount of care that is necessary at each successive stage of a child’s development. You will not offer too little care thereby neglecting the child, nor will you offer too much care thereby intruding on the child.

For example, with the understanding that young children suffer from separation fears, you will understand your toddler’s emotional reactions to your everyday comings and goings. Your sensitivity to the fears of a two-year-old will enable you to respond appropriately by offering support and reassurance to your child in a situation that you as an adult do not perceive as traumatic.

At each level of development and capability, you will offer support by endorsing your children being more independent and taking over more responsibility for their own lives. In allowing the maximum freedom and autonomy possible at each age level, you will be showing your respect for your child’s growing maturity.

For information about the stages of child development go to:
http://www.pbs.org/parents/childdevelopmenttracker/two/index.html
http://www.kidsgrowth.com/stages/guide/index.cfm
http://www.childdevelopmentinfo.com/development/erickson.shtml
http://www.lhj.com/relationships/family/raising-kids/

Your Journey

It is important to be aware that it is not only the children who go through transitions and adjustments during the growing up process. The maturation process also challenges parents to adjust and evolve as caregivers at each stage of the child’s development. Both parent and child are involved in a mutual weaning process.

When your child transitions to a new stage of development, the parenting that was essential at the previous stage is no longer suitable. Therefore, at each stage of development, you must adjust and evolve your care giving so that it is appropriate to that stage. At the beginning of life, the child is totally dependent on the parent who must provide for all of the infant’s needs. As the child grows up, gradually becoming more competent, responsible and self-sufficient, the parent responds by providing fewer caretaking functions and allowing the child to become more and more autonomous.

As parents, we often have emotional reactions to giving up different childcare functions as our children grow up. When we have especially enjoyed tending to our child at a specific stage, we may miss performing the functions that were once appropriate. But were we to provide care giving that is no longer suitable, we would be interfering with our child’s development. Instead, we must feel the bittersweet sadness that parents inevitably feel as they experience time passing, life changing, and their children growing up. After all, these transitions not only mark the ending of a period of our children’s lives, but the ending of a period of our lives as well.

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One Comment

Alexa

I’m a forty year old Single parent of a two year old with two jobs and 8 credits of school. In my writing class, I got an assignment that sent me into the blogosphere for the first time. I’ve spent five hours feeling tortured by the colossal waste of time reading these blogs has been. Until I read yours. Thanks

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