Stages of Parenting

Aug 28, 2013 by


With three adult children, we have already gone through several stages of parenting. Here is where we are now.

Our youngest just left this morning for college 2200 miles away. We survived the first year of her being gone; she came home for the summer; and now we have ripped off the Band-Aid once again as she has gone for her second year.

Our middle child, our son, and his wife have moved back home for the next 9 months as they prepare to go to the mission field. Despite studies, two women of the household can live peaceably in the same home.

And our oldest and her husband are living nine hours away and in 3 months will give us our first grandchild. Our daughter will then become our favorite child.

Three children, three very different stages of life. How we relate to each one is very different, as well. Whether you are starting  the Kindergarten stage or the my-children-are-making-me-a-grandparent stage, you can view each stage as a new beginning that will teach you many lessons – some good, some challenging.

Here’s what I’ve learned going through the parenting stages:

  1. You can’t stop it from happening. In fact, this is exactly why you have children – so they can grow up to become healthy, productive, and independent adults. To reach that point, the stages of pulling away from the clutches of mom and dad must happen, or they will simply remain completely dependent on you for everything.
  2. You don’t want to go back to a previous stage. While the memories of having a baby in your arms or sending your teenager to their first dance may have been fun times, you really don’t want them to regress to those ages. They lived that stage – sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse. And now it’s time for a new one. Reliving a stage is what pictures, videos, and your memory are for.
  3. You must grow with them in each stage. What if I had remained stuck in the teenager stage when my child became a teenager? What a dramatic disaster that would have been! As the parent, I must continue growing and developing through my stages of life so I am prepared to help my child through theirs. A child needs their parent at some level through every stage of their life. They need wisdom, guidance. They crave your approval and encouragement. Therefore, you need to have the maturity to help them navigate life for as long as you live.

Be the parent your children need at whatever stage they are at. Let the leash out as they grow while maintaining appropriate boundaries. Guide, love, discipline, and disciple them every step of the way. When they are adults, your job is not finished. You will just need to adjust to whatever stage they are in to be the parent they need.

Celebrate every single stage!

What stages of parenting are you living?



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