Parent Hope Podcast
Parenting through stages of development
The value of stepping back and observing your interactions
In this series, Jenny will describe a challenging parent-child interaction relevant to the child’s age and show what good insights emerge for parents.
Parenting is often a stressful endeavour making it very difficult to see what predictable patterns are developing in relating to and managing each child. However, when parents can learn what is and isn’t effective from observing their own patterns, they can make adjustments to themselves that improve outcomes for their children – especially for the child that worries them most.
Connection and autonomy in balance encourage maturation. Maturity grows as connection with caregivers gradually allows more independence. From birth through adulthood, a critical developmental task for a child is to gradually reduce their dependence on their mother, father, and other adults and increase their capacity to manage upsets, new challenges, and socialising.
Each phase of a child’s development presents parents with opportunities to step back and consider their part in interactions – to see what is helping to promote gradual independence and self-regulation rather than unintentionally fuelling reactivity or dependence. I will not focus much on details about children’s development as I want to emphasise ways parents can facilitate children’s gradual autonomy all through the different stages. I have come to see that the more information provided to parents about children’s development, the more intimidating parenting can become. At every stage of a child’s life, the keys to promoting maximal development are
- a sufficiently calm parent
- who knows when to say Yes and No and
- who connects with the whole child rather than focus on what triggers a parent’s worry.
- who thinks about their parenting purpose or job description rather than being led by the feelings of the moment.
Over the coming months, Jenny will be presenting the following topics.
- Toddler in meltdown- The first push for independence.
- Early school years – dealing with separations
- Preteens – venturing into unknown territories
- Adolescents – independence on steroids
- Young adults – the challenges of launching
- Special needs children – nurturing capacity even when limited.
I will describe real-life parent-child interactions to bring to light ways that parents can adjust themselves for the benefit of their children. The focus is on Parent development at each stage of their child’s development. Whatever stage your child is in, the principles presented in each podcast will be relevant and provide some insights for whatever stage you are in right now.
If you’re going to assist your child to grow their resilience, the first step will be to increase your own resilience in tolerating your child’s upset without feeling compelled to rush in and smooth over everything for them. The grown-up parent, who really wants to be a loving resource to their child, is prepared to work on themselves.