With every developmental stage of the child, the parent has certain goals to fulfill, what are they?
To young children, parents are an earthly reflection of the unseen God. By His design, you are God’s instrument for meeting your children’s needs in a way that will awaken their spiritual sensitivity and draw them to placing faith in the Lord. Psalm 111:10 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding.”
- Infant: The infant goes through the bonding stage. In this stage the infant needs are met by forming an attachment to the parents – the parents’ goal is to help the infant to feel secure with tender caressing and cuddling. The infant is not yet ready to understand spiritual concepts but can be influenced by the overall spiritual atmosphere within the home – the parent’s goal is to provide a spiritual atmosphere by praying over the infant and filling your home with Christian music.
- Toddlers: The toddler is in the exploration stage. Toddlers are intensely curious, unaware of danger, and eager to explore their world – the parents’ goal is to encourage your toddler’s curiosity in a protected environment instead of being annoyed or harsh. Toddlers begin to separate from parents by being independent and saying “no” – the parents’ goal is to support the toddler’s separation by not overreacting or squelching the toddler’s spirit.
- Preschoolers: The preschooler is in the testing stage. Preschoolers push against the rules to test the limits – the parents’ goal is to establish structure, set limits, and hold the line with love. Preschoolers also begin to be deceitful, realising that their parents are not omniscient and can’t read their minds – the parents’ goal is to reflect the compassion of God while correcting your preschooler.