The Gift of Parenthood
When a child is born to you or adopted into your family—whether you are married, cohabitating, or single—you become a parent. But parenting is an evolving discipline. So the question is: Are you growing into productive parents?
The Begin with the Children Parenting Program is unique from most other parenting programs, because our free gift to you is a path to productive parenthood. Our educational program provides parents with well-researched ideas, information, and principles each month to help you grow and adapt to parenting challenges in an organized way. Our program is organized to help you to learn each stage of parenthood and complete the tasks within each one.
The Six Stages of Parenthood
Ellen Galinsky, President and Co-Founder of the Families and Work Institute, helped establish the field of work and family life at New York City’s Bank Street College of Education, where she was on the faculty for twenty-five years. In 2018, she was “selected by her peers in the Work and Family Researcher Network” as a Top Ten Extraordinary Contributor to Work and Family Research.
Mrs. Galinsky’s classic work is titled The Six Stages of Parenthood. Rather than viewing parenthood as one big, gigantic mountain, her thesis is that parenthood consists of six distinct stages beginning with the onset of pregnancy and ending as an empty nester. Read More about Ellen Galinsky Here.
Briefly, here is how she categorizes the stages of parenthood:
Begin with the Children utilized Mrs. Galinsky’s Six Stages of Parenthood to build the foundation of the program. Categorizing parenting materials in a systematic way makes it easy to understand and conveys the idea that parenthood is a changing discipline.
The Image-Making Stage: During pregnancy, parents “form and re-form images” of the upcoming birth and the changes they anticipate. This is a period of preparation.
The Nurturing Stage: This is a period of attachment. Begin with the Children enrolls parents of children ages 0-18 months to give them a firm foundation of nurturing knowledge and skills before the Authority Stage begins at about age two.
The Authority Stage: When the child is between two years and about five years old, parents decide “what kind of authority to be.” This is a period of developing and setting rules, as well as enforcing them.
The Interpretive Stage: The Interpretive Stage starts around the time the child begins school and ends as the child approaches adolescence. In this stage, parents figure out how they want to interpret reality for their children and more firmly decide on the values they want to promote.
The Interdependent Stage: The Interdependent Stage begins as the child enters adolescence and lasts throughout the child’s teenage years. This stage involves a lot of the same issues as in the Authority stage, reworked to fit the older child’s needs.
The Departure Stage: The Departure Stage happens when the child leaves home and is usually a time when parents evaluate how their parenting has been and what successes and failures they’ve had. The Begin with the Children Program does not address the Departure Stage.
The 3 Bedrock Parenting Principles
Begin with the Children uses 3 Bedrock Parenting Principles as the foundation of its parenting program. These principles are:
- Love – Everything parents do with their children should be done with love.
- Personal Responsibility – As children start to learn more about the world, giving them choices and helping them learn personal responsibility is a core element of one’s character and teaches them to recognize that every choice has consequences, whether good or bad.
- Teaching Noble Values and Virtues – It is also the parent’s responsibility to teach their children to live by noble values and virtues so they learn to be healthy, happy, productive members of society. These three principles are manifest in every stage of parenting and give parents a strong foundation to build upon as they raise their children.
Everything parents do with their children should be done with love. As children start to learn more about the world, giving them choices and helping them learn that personal responsibility is a core element of one’s character teaches them to recognize that every choice has consequences, whether good or bad.
It is also the parent’s responsibility to teach their children to live by noble values and virtues so they learn to be healthy, happy, productive members of society. These three principles are manifest in every stage of parenting and give parents a strong foundation to build upon as they raise their children.
The Begin with the Children program is not just a fad or a cool idea.
The program presents time-tested principles that really make a lasting, positive difference. This program teaches and reinforces parenting principles in quick and easy-to-read articles.
These programs either remind us of good practices, validate what we are striving to do, or encourage us to study and learn more about parenting principles that will really work.
What the Begin with the Children program is doing to strengthen families (and through them, our society) is wonderful and we need more of it in the world