Parenthood as a Developmental Stage
Appeared in Psychology Today September 15, 2012
By: Molly S Castelloe, Ph.D.
A parent should view their child as their own person, who is able to think for themselves and has their own opinions to form. A parent should assess their own emotions and try to understand where these emotions are stemming from. Take a situation from the past and try not to let it interfere with raising their children in present day. A parent who is able to manage past emotional triggers makes for a parent who is more in tune with their child, has a tighter bond with their child, and has a child who has more confidence in themselves. This is called “reflective thinking”. Without this, generations would raise children who lack confidence and feel inadequate, unsure, and inferior. With this, parents are able to realize how their emotions are triggered and adjust their parenting accordingly, to not burden their own children with these same personality flaws.
The article says to consider a parent whose cries were not responded to as an infant by their own mother. They would not have successfully completed Erik Erikson’s 1st Psychosocial Stage, Trust vs. Mistrust. This totally dependent child may develop mistrust and grow up to be a parent who views the world as unpredictable, which could have ill effects on a child. Another parent to consider is one who had a very critical parent as a child. Erik Erikson’s 4th Psychosocial Stage, Industry vs. Inferiority, may be applied here. A child who’s parent didn’t offer encouragement and was always criticizing will feel inferior and may lack the confidence to be a successful parent.
The points raised in this article are valid from my point of view. After reading this I put some thought into it and the article made a lot of sense to me. I’m thinking a parent who wet the bed and never got a grasp on potty training as a child may relive that when potty training their own child. They would sense those feelings of...