On this second of three blogs on parenting, let’s take a look at this crucial role by the stages of the parents:
- Stage One―Parents who themselves operate as Ones―regardless of the age of their child―may expect and encourage their children to become “parentified” (which means for the child to act in the role as the parent in one or more major ways), and thus take care of them.
- Stage Two―Stage Two parents may be very neglectful or abusive emotionally, physically, morally and/or even sexually for no reason, of course, that even pretends to benefit their children. For example, in extreme cases, Twos have been known to use their children to beg, steal, in some cases even deal drugs for them or worse. Unfortunately, many of the parenting stories we see in the news, nowadays is about people who parent from this dark stage.
- Stage Three—While teaching rules and values are essential elements of parenting, it’s not hard to see how Stage Three parents who make it a practice to rule their kids by fear and extremely harsh discipline, usually miss the mark. In this present era, children of all ages (and others in their lives, such as teachers) have access to many resources and much information that they didn’t have in past generations. Therefore, any extreme approach that puts the emphases on fear and other types of harsh behavior may now even be considered emotionally or physically abusive. At best, these anachronistic measures don’t translate to effective discipline. Moreover, highly authoritarian Stage Three parents generally have much difficulty being successful with adolescents―in particular― who may rebel to a dangerous degree on the one hand, or, on the other hand, become so fearful that they remain Threes both throughout and long after adolescence.
- Stage Four— Stage Four parents are often obsessed with being loved, respected, and considered a “friend” by their children.
- Stage Five―Fives consider parenting their children another major role, albeit an extremely important and rewarding one; and certainly try to do the right thing.
- Stage Six―Those who parent from Stage Six will rarely miss an opportunity to learn more ways to be effective. Parenting is often seen as the most joyous, rewarding, and loving part of life. Observing each aspect of a child’s growth can be a mesmerizing experience. Sixes both appreciate and encourage their children’s uniqueness. They make a genuine effort to be mindfully present when interacting with their child.
- Stage Seven―Part of parenting your child from Stage Seven is to see that role as a calling, where putting your needs aside and sacrificing when necessary is done as a labor of love and purpose, never out of guilt or obligation. Many Sevens choose to become foster parents, adopt needy children, or find and serve in some mission involving children, when unable to have their own or when their own children are grown. And Sevens certainly draw and expand upon what’s typical at Stage Six, above.
This calibration simply asks you to look at your own values and default stage as a parent and then ask yourself whether you are getting the result that you want.