How can you become a developmentally conscious parent?

Day by day we are offered an overwhelming amount of the “best” child raising methods, which recommend solutions, theories and parent’s experiences. In special literature we can find a wide range of research results which give us some kind of support about the strategy of good child rearing. You have to be an expert to be able to choose the most appropriate method of education for yourself and your children from the overwhelming amount of tips. At the same time, a new phenomenon can be observed in social media, where mothers and fathers, who have been unseen by the public so far, allow direct insight into their everyday lives.


In response to the chaotic world of theories and ideas,
parents express more and more sharply their
unanimous disappointment
about their parenting.


Not only for the ancient visitors of the famous Delphi oracle, but thousands of years later, for the man of today as well, the injunction “Get to know yourself!” is valid. The siblings, Terri O’Fallon and Kim Barta, an American psychotherapist and a researcher, visiting Hungary in September, added a revolutionary approach to this principle: “Get to know your child”. But what does it really mean? There are many complaints in the media that from the moment you become a parent you cease to be yourself. The “everything for the child” attitude can slowly lead not only the parent’s, but also the child’s life off the right track. Terri O’Fallon and Kim Barta give us a clue for good parenting based on eternal truth, which helps to avoid making serious mistakes in bringing up your child.

The integral approach based principle of the psychotherapist siblings is that


the parents should develop with the child.
However, you need to know
both your own and your child’s developmental level.


These levels can be found in all of us, these are collective psychological developmental stages we all will come through sooner or later, whether we want to or not. Terri O’Fallon and Kim Barta give us the knowledge to identify the levels our child has already reached on these lines of development. As soon as we understand this, we can effectively accompany them in every stage of their life, while we do not demand of them to repeat a pattern which has not yet been reached or has already been exceeded. We can have a view of what our child needs here and now, and what we can do to support them in the most appropriate way. It’s a false idea to link the child’s developmental stages to age. Instead, the stages of development slip to one another. There is the one that is not over yet, the one which has already begun and the one where our child stays most of the time, here and now. To explore this, Terri O’Fallon and Kim Barta have developed a three-question method in StAGES, their model of Developmental Parenting. By answering these questions, we can identify the stage on which our child stays most of the time, and find the best education strategy to help them.


Based on the same principle,
parents can be taught to identify their own
developmental level.


This is a very useful thing, because most of us are surprised to find that our parenting style is related to our own developmental level rather than to our child’s stage. On the other hand, with the help of this method parents can fill the gap between self-realization and parenting. By raising our awareness of our own and our child’s developmental levels, we are constantly observing the behaviors of both of us. Apart from the fact that it results in a more cooperative and harmonious parent-child relationship, it also increases the parent’s self-consciousness.

Child rearing in this approach is no longer a self-denial but a revolutionary new path of self-knowledge and self-realization. The most we can give to our children, ourselves, and our entire family: our attention, which is equal to love. If there is understanding and awareness, our child can be led to a happier and more balanced life. The American trainer siblings visiting Hungary will help us to understand this with a lecture on September 26th, and a workshop with practical training on September 27-29. Every parent who wants to be more conscious and all the interested experts are welcome!

Article written by Csilla Fehér


with Terri O’Fallon and Kim Barta

SEPTEMBER 27, 2017

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