Please mind to «live» and not to «live through». So howshould we react to what is sometimes happening to our loved ones and to ourselves. Let’s go over the most important life «crises» in order.
A baby is born, the umbilical cord is cut – the first separation from the mother. From this moment, one must recognize that a separate person with his own life has come into the world with the purpose of creating his own experience. And our primary task is to help and direct, but most importantly – to love. In the first year of life, a baby perceives a world whereby the «mother» is «me», and «dad» is the «external world». It means that the baby will feel everything that his mother feels. The happier the father is – the more the father loves the mother, the more quality time he spends with both mother and child – the more confident and harmonious the child’s personality will be. A child’s relationship with the father will determine his relationship with the world in the future!
These are the first steps, first independence, and the first joy of personal accomplishments and experience. What to do? Of course to support your child and allow them to stumble and fall, bit by bit. It is HIS experience; he needs it.
The famous «I can do it myself!» Hurrah – that’s great! The child already has good speaking skills and the ability to communicate. He already has food likes and preferred activities. What to do? Gently offer and never force. But it’s time to introduce clear rules – very simple and not more than five or ten, but consistent. Rules are for all members of the family. Children cannot live without rules, they need the continuation of their intra-uterine state, when their movements were limited and constrained. There is a clear need for predictability and limits. Look how many problems there are in families where children are allowed to do ALL they want!
School. In this period, a child needs to separate from his parents and to find another authoritative adult. If you’re lucky, that adult is the first teacher and the desire to learn and the child’s work ethic is guaranteed for years to come! But what if it does not happen? Look for a coach in a favorite sport or interest.
The formation of a child’s personality is complete. It’s a huge event in the life of everyone. What to do? Recognize the boundaries and independence of the individual and start communicating «on equal terms». More partnerships, more respect and autonomy, and (cross your fingers!) puberty will not be turbulent. Key words: «I love you, you are good», or «You are good, but your actions are bad». Evaluation should be done, it’s a must, but it shouldn’t push your child away or humiliate in any way.
During this period, the figure of an «authoritative» teenager appears, which implies the influence of «friends» or «company». What to do? We have to accept the choice of the child, and not forget that «the forbidden fruit is always sweeter». The more prohibitions there are, the faster the child will grow distant from the family; the easier we accept or welcome his friends, the faster he will make «the right choice». Remember, we intuitively choose partners and friends based on the qualities that we lack ourselves. So let the child get what he needs at this stage through communication.
This is a relative age (and very temporary). What’s important: if a teen does not live his puberty now, he is sure to live it later. But that will be more complicated. Like any children’s sickness, it becomes more challenging at an adult stage. What to do? Love and accept unconditionally. Similar to the ages of 12-13, express your opinion on the teenager’s actions but continue to love. Remember, you are establishing the relationship with your child for the rest of his life.
Everything is already going well but parents are often deeply affected by the child’s final maturity, independence and complete separation. This period sometimes overlaps with the midlife crisis that parents may go through and causes the «empty nest syndrome». What to do? Read on and remember the hobbies of your youth and your childhood dreams, and start doing what you really like to do immediately. Let the kids live their life!
The first crisis of adulthood: self-esteem, self-determination, achievement in professional, social, sexual, financial and spiritual spheres. Defining the future directions, re-evaluation of values and readiness and maturity for reproduction. What to do? Objectively evaluate the situation and positively look at the infinite number of opportunities ahead. Define the goals and objectives more clearly and start using the youthful energy you still have to achieve them. Start investing in yourself and your health.
Also a relative age span with timing dependent on gender. The famous «mid-life crisis»: tiredness, stubborn wrinkles, grey hair, occasional hormonal shake-ups, different and so far insignificant situations with health (If you did not invest in yourself from 20-40 years old), global reevaluation of values, a new stage of maturity, recognition that a lot cannot be changed any longer or is too hard to change, self criticism and blames, or achievement evaluation. It is not by accident the majority of separations and divorces and attempts to create new families occur during this time. It is a time of attempts to live life anew and get the most from life and to correct previous mistakes. Depression, self-pity, and absence of goals is too often the result of these years. What to do? Accept your age. And be stubbornly joyful! Start saying thank you for everything you have. And no matter what, never look at others in comparison. All the problems, repeat, all of them, are from either jealousy and/or broken expectations. So the task now is to determine what you want to do in the future. What will bring you joy and pleasure. Start «living» or making yourself what you have dreamt to be your entire life. And absolutely stay important, required, and useful; do not simply live through the years, but live your life. We will rest later.