Child Development: Equilibrium and Disequilibrium

child development growith equilibrium disequilibrium parenting parenthood highs and lows twrrible two school age teenage toddlerhood attitude behavior outlook perspective seasons phases“Did you ever feel as if parenting your children was like riding a roller coaster?  At one point you are enjoying your offspring and the next you are wondering what ever happened to your sweet little girl or your charming little boy.”

About six months ago (maybe more, maybe less) Dot’s daycare provider posted an article to Facebook that completely changed my view on parenting. Since then I’ve shared the article, or at least the overall concept, at least half a dozen times. Each time I’ve seen the light go off as pieces of the parenting puzzle fall together.

I’m not sure what about this idea, this concept, this explanation is so powerful, but I’ve definitely taken a few guesses. My top three ideas are this:

  1. It’s not our fault. As parents, we aren’t doing anything wrong. We aren’t necessarily even doing anything different. Perhaps even more powerful than that, we may not be able to fix this by “doing”.
  2. It’s not our kids’ fault. They don’t mean to. They don’t want to. They may not be able to try harder or act better.I find it much easier to be upset of frustrated with the process than the child.
  3. This too shall pass. It’s a season. Now is hard, then was easier, and easier will come again. Or, now is pretty good and we have an idea of what might be around the bend, but we’re going to soak this up and get through that.

Since I maybe not be making any sense at all, I’m going to point you to Development Stages: The Roller Coaster of Equilibrium and Disequilibrium. It is absolutely a must read and since I’ve had to dig it up so many times in order to pass it on, I’m glad to place it somewhere I know I’ll be able to access.

I will add that last year at this time, Dot was three-and-a-half and we were pulling our hair out. M was just a few months old and we were desperate for a) a finger to point as to why and b) an action to make it stop. A year later we’re back in a stage of disequilibrium and while it can be frustrating to have that déjà vu feeling, I feel like we’ve handled this go-round with much more grace and have been able to extend more understanding both to ourselves and our feisty four-and-a-half year old.

“Knowing this information can help you to view each of your children as unique individuals and can help you to work towards setting more realistic expectations for each child. By doing so, you provide a foundation for your children to learn to appreciate that they are special in their own right and that you appreciate their unique growth.  This awareness helps to build their sense of self-esteem, their sense of self-confidence, and their relationship with you.”

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