As parents, observation and sufficient knowledge towards your children and their development are probably the best weapons we can use when figuring out what particular stage you are in your parenting forte. Knowing how your child interacts, understands, observes, analyzes and responds in different situations are clues to help you further hone them holistically.
Parenting also has several stages that needs different approaches depending on how you know your child. Of course, as I have always mentioned, each kid has their own unique traits. Think of these traits as a thumbmark which does not have any identical pattern. Even twins have different thumbmarks, which concludes that no two human are perfectly similar to one another.
This just goes to show that it is crucial to strategize an inimitable parenting method to each child. It’s like ordering you favorite coffee drink with all those add-ons and special requests just so you can have your prefect morning cup.
Knowing the stages of parenting can greatly help parents on how they will handle their children depending on how old they are. Each stage of the child corresponds to distinct stages of parenting. These stages will range from as early as the child’s starting months up to their pre-adulthood phase which is 17 and beyond.
The catering stage starts from the early months of your child up to two years of age. In this stage, your child will solely be dependent on you. Each and every need of you little one must and should be met regardless of the time of day.
This is probably the most physically, mentally and emotionally draining stage in my judgement. The reason I said this is because, this is the time when mothers have just given birth. Not only will you be exhausted from your labor and delivery, you have to take care of your child as well. This will include sleepless nights, additional chores, round the clock feeding and many more.
But don’t let these factors bring you down. Keep in mind that parenting is also based on teamwork. Mothers do not have to carry all of the tasks and responsibilities on their own. Ask for help if you think you can’t handle it. Taking care of your child with a positive attitude can greatly affect how your little one will interact with other people especially their parents.
I remember when I got home from the hospital and started to care for my child it was chaotic. Apart from the fact that pumping milk every two hours is already physically draining, I still have to care for my young one and all of her needs.
It was a good thing that my mother was very supportive of me. She was there throughout the first two months of my post pregnancy ordeal. Eventually, I was able to get a good rhythm of how I should do my daily tasks.
When I was finally comfortable with it, my mother started to allow me to clean my daughter’s bottles, bathe her and other more tedious chores that I was too tired and stressed to do when I started. My strong support system allowed me to cater all of my daughters needs without becoming too stressed out or tired.
Conforming is the stage where your child starts to understand how things work. During the age of two to five, your child’s brain is like a sponge. They will start to mimic everything that they see. This is also the most crucial stage where parents have the task to incline to their children their values, morals and religious beliefs.
This is also the stage that my child is in. I, for one, have already started teaching her simple educational skills such as ABC, 123, colors and shapes. I am also starting to teach her how to pray, say “thank you,” “please” and the likes.
The best advice I can give for parents with children in this age group is that each and every child has their own unique development. Do not compare your child with another kid and get too worked up on the “why can’t my child do what your child does” scenario. Let your child develop on their own without pressuring them too much.
Coaching is the first definitive result of how you were able to hone you child during their early years. This is the time when your kids are set to be ready for school around the ages of six to ten. Here, your child will act accordingly to how they think is the proper thing to do based on how they were brought up.
Since your child will be entering school, you should further be involved in educating your children especially now that they will be dealing with new people. You should also continue to instill and remind them the moral, spiritual and emotional foundation that you have provided for them while they were younger.
What I plan to do when my daughter starts to go to school is to not let the institute be the only source of education and learning for her. It is still my responsibility, as a parent, to educate my child with regards to good manners, religious beliefs and practices, social interaction and all other emotional, spiritual and cognitive factor that the educational institutions might miss out on.
This stage also holds the so called “rebellious” phase of teenagers. The age range for this stage is from eleven to seventeen. This is the time when your once innocent child steps in to become a teenager that will have their own set of beliefs and understandings that may or may not jive with what you have previously taught them.
If you have successfully inculcated in your child the importance of your emotional, moral and spiritual foundations, they will be able to go thought this phase with confidence. Furthermore, they would be comfortable enough to talk with you about certain “teenage” matters and ask for advices on how they should solve it.
For me this will be the second definitive result of how well the child has understood and portrayed what their parents have taught them. Yes, there will be outside factors that can affect their judgement sometimes like peer pressure or friends that are bad influences. But if your child knows early on how to address certain issues and solve it, they will be able to surpass these influences themselves, of course, with your continuous guidance.
Caring is the last stage of parenting. This is when your child now turns into a pre-adult at age eighteen and beyond. This is the time when we will now give them meaningful life lessons on how to start on their own, find a job, make a family and become successful adults in the near future.
We can also use this time to help our child to figure out what goal they would want to achieve. If ever the time would come that my daughter would reach this stage, the best thing I can do to help her is to support her in whatever she would want to pursue. If ever she would ask for my opinion regarding her decision, then that will be the only time I will speak out.
Of course, if ever I would sense that my daughter would be tracking the wrong path with her pronouncement, it will still be my responsibility as her mother to help her realize it. But I will not directly tell her “no this is not the right thing to do.” The reason why I would not unswervingly tell her that her choice will not benefit her greatly is because I want her to become mature and wise enough to figure out on her own that she is making a mistake. I would want her to realize that as she grows older, I will not be there all the time to help her make the right choices and that she needs to figure thing out on her own once she reaches adulthood.
Our jobs as parents will be a life-long commitment that we must religiously and faithfully implement. There should be not stops or halts when it comes to your children. But all in all, even though how well thought of and how perfectly planned we may orchestrate how we raise our kids, it will still be all up to them. All that we can do is hope for the best, pray that we have taught them well and keep on guiding them until they become the adults that we dreamed and hoped that they would be.