Tips on Parenting a Child from Zero to Adulthood

Rick Thomas | 9/24/2018 | Rick Thomas
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The goal of parenting is to release a child into adulthood as a man or woman living under God’s authority. This parenting process happens in three stages.

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The first stage is the dependent stage. The second is the interdependent stage, and the last one is the independent stage. The rule-of-thumb breakdown goes like this:

Stage - Window - Time - Flexes - Child

Each stage is a window of time that flexes depending on the child and the parents, and the situations that reveal how a child is maturing through each stage.

For example, some children will be independent long before their twenty-second birthday. Others will live with their parents long after their twenty-second birthday. The stages are suggestive, not binary.

Word - Sense - Person - Ability - Function

Also, the word independent is used in a limited sense, speaking only to a person’s ability to function well in the culture, while providing a means for subsistence.

Self-reliance is a non-communicable attribute that belongs to God. Not even Jesus was self-reliant (John 5:30). The arguably time for “limited” independence is when a child graduates college, hence the 22-year line for the transition.

Birth - Mark - Child - Parents - Guardians

From birth to the two-year mark a child is dependent on his parents (or guardians). An infant can do little as far as taking care of himself. Even as early mobility begins, he does not have the mental or physical capacity to do it alone or well.

By the time a child is two years old, his ability to explore the world around him begins to surpass his mental and physical capacities. This combination of limited intelligence and ever-increasing independence converge to create a stage of life some parents call the terrible twos, which is a terrible name.

Stage - Opportunity - Parent - Shape

This stage is an opportunity for a parent to bring shape...
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