Parenting and Family Life

There is no greater life challenge than that of parenting children from birth to young adulthood while at the same time being involved in the rigors of meeting career or job requirements; needing to take effective care of relationships with a partner, with friends, and with members of extended families; and still finding enough time to nourish yourself.  What makes the parenting challenge even greater is that the requirements of what constitutes reasonable parenting continue to shift and change throughout your child’s developmental phases.  What infants need from us as parents is quite different from the parenting challenges posed by toddlers, and this, in turn,  creates new demands through each subsequent period until we have to establish adult-to-adult relationships with our independent and grown children. The following brief descriptions of the journey and its demands might be informative:

  • The latter stages of the pregnancy – Achieving emotional readiness for parenting
  • Birth to eight months – Bonding and creating security and attachment
  • Eight to sixteen months – Emotional attunement and the management of separation rhythms
  • Sixteen to forty months – Socialization: teaching with kindness, patience, and support
  • Forty months to kindergarten – Overseeing the learning of early independence, sex role behavior and gender requirements free of shame and guilt
  • Kindergarten to pre-pubescence – Learning to support and to guide entry into the community and development of social skills
  • The dance of adolescence – Turning over authority and responsibility for the young person’s life at a rate and in a fashion that neither suffocates nor leaves the adolescent unrestrained
  • Teen and young adult – Making a transition plan
  • Establishing adult-to-adult relationships – Differentiation, disengagement/re engagement, and the achievement of mutuality

Each of these shifting demands on parents can be filled with challenge and difficulty. Depending on your particular family, moving through developmental eras one or more of the following signs of family stress may appear if proper attunement is not occurring:

  • Continuing dissension between parents or between one or another parent and a child
  • Defiance, stubborn behavior, willful disobedience, temper outbursts
  • Failure to learn, to progress, to make use of obvious talents, underachievement
  • Fear of going to school, new experiences, challenge
  • Eating disorders
  • Fearfulness, over cautiousness, hesitancy about growing up
  • Reclusiveness, lack of interest in social relations
  • Vague and continuing physical complaints
  • Premature “sophistication” and pseudo-sexuality
  • Alcohol or chemical dependency or abuse

Parenting & Family Coaching at Sunstone Center can assist your family with any of these challenges.  Felicia Snell believes in preserving the family by playing on their strengths and strengthening the weaker places.  At Sunstone Center, your family will be treated as a unit with care, compassion and hope for the future.