Are You Doing It Right? Adapting to Parenting Stages
Parenthood, as some might say, is a continuous task that lasts a lifetime. Taking the role of a parent means following through the stages of your child’s growth. It also involves a complex process of establishing connections and boundaries. So what makes a parent adapt to their child’s developmental demands? Let’s start with the basics.
The Six Stages of Parenting
Adjusting your parenting style through your child’s developmental phases is essential. These changes may happen in several aspects, including language, disciplinary approach, and expectations. According to a study by Ellen Galinsky, there are six stages of parenting. Coinciding with these developmental stages is a crucial point of parenthood.
Stage 1: Pregnancy
The first stage of parenthood revolves around image-making. Especially for new parents, their firstborn’s arrival brings a significant impact. A lot of imagination happens during this stage. Some include coping with the responsibilities and challenges of having a baby.
Stage 2: Nurturing
After a child is born, parents will form a deeper bond with their baby. During this stage, the baby’s needs will become a priority. Parents need to balance these needs with other aspects of life. From work, social interactions, and personal aspirations, all become much less important.
Stage 3: Authoritative
The toddler years are the fastest developmental stage of a child. Between the ages of two to five years, they begin to develop a sense of authority. At this stage, parents need to introduce boundaries and rules. A good guide in making the right choices is essential. The same is true when it comes to explaining why these rules exist.
Stage 4: Interpretive
At the age of five, your child is already attending primary school. With this immersion, peer dynamics will follow and shape their character. Teaching children to interpret behaviors is a necessary social skill. So does for a proper reaction to an unexpected situation. The best way is to help your child navigate through these challenges. Doing so plays a crucial role in parent-child interaction.
Stage 5: Interdependent
Parents find the interdependent stage to be the most challenging time of parenthood. Transitioning as a parent is difficult, especially as your child decides to enter high school. As a parent, it will feel like you’re leaving them in a space between childhood and adulthood. Most parents wouldn’t know how much to let go of during this stage. These instances happen a lot due to parents’ fears of the unknown.
Stage 6: Departure
During adolescence, taking steps into maturity will begin. Sooner or later, your child will reach complete independence. They develop a sense of responsibility and assume new roles. Communication will also be more on an equal footing. This time is an excellent opportunity for parents. They can redefine their roles and rediscover new pursuits.
Becoming a Smart Parent
Problems develop when parents fail to adapt to the child’s appropriate developmental stage. So, how can you tell if your parenting style is suitable for your child? Take a closer look at smart parenting strategies to consider.
Listen to Their Thoughts
Positive attention can go a long way toward connecting with your child. Be open to your children’s opinions, listen to their stories, and be a good listener. Even if it’s repetitive, allow them to share what’s on their mind. Doing so prevents behavioral problems as they grow.
Confirm Their Emotions
Recognizing your child’s emotions is important. Teaching them how these emotions are normal helps them manage their thought process. Tell them it’s okay to feel things. Afterward, follow through with coping strategies to help with their emotions.
Balance Responsibility and Freedom
As your child reaches their teenage years, they look for independence. Often, disagreements can turn into fights. These also involve the strain of other factors to consider. Parents need to strike a balance between freedom and authority. Empower your child to make small choices. Doing so will prepare them to make more significant decisions in the future.
Find Learning Opportunities
Don’t make kids feel bad about making a mistake. Instead, assist them in determining how to transform these failures into learning.
Your parenting style is the focal point of your child’s development. But these parenting styles don’t always fall into a single category. We differ one way or another, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach to raising children. So don’t get discouraged from experimenting with what works best for your kid. After all, there isn’t an exact formula for parenting. With enough commitment and dedication, you can be the best parent that you can be. Over time, you’ll be proud to see the benefits of intelligent parenthood.