The 3 Stages Of Parenting


You may have read the title, “The 3 stages of parenting,” and thought, “I’m still trying to wrap my head around dealing with

  • disobedient kids
  • fighting siblings
  • lack of sleep

down here on the first stage. You may feel overwhelmed with no personal time to have a life.  These are the realities most parents deal with. 

Nothing stays the same with kids

While this may be your reality now, I’ve learned that nothing in parenting ever stays the same.  This can either be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on how you look at it.  I take it as a reminder that as soon as you start to get used to a tough time in your life, you’re onto something else.  Their problems may shift and transform but trouble doesn’t last always!  I’m always the first to remind my family that,

“It’s just a phase.  She’ll grow out of it.”

Children are dynamic.  They change their minds (and style ) every day.  You peg or pin them down.  I say don’t try to fight it.  Breathe in the chaos.  Let their crazy thoughts amuse you.  Allow their random thoughts to give you new fresh ideas.  I know (firsthand) that parenting can be a daunting daily challenge.  All I’m trying to say is don’t fret!  

What is the purpose of parenting?

Sometimes I get caught up in the rules and laws of parenting, instead of just parenting. In my attempt to maintain structure in their lives, I begin policing my kids through their childhood.   I had to get back to the purpose of parenting.  Parents are supposed to

  • Develop healthy children through love and support
  • Create a safe environment where they can express themselves without judgment
  • Teach Godly principles and life lessons that will help them guard their futures
  • Establish their heritage (teach them their family history so they know they come from somewhere)
  • Instill discipline and character in their children
  • Preview life in the real world through honest discussion
  • Be the first one to answer all their questions (if not, they will find other teachers)

Even King Solomon, the wise king wrote in Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.”  A parent must train that child in the way that is right.  It’s kind of like that plant that is becoming a tree.  If the stem is growing crooked, you have to straighten it out before the bark hardens and it becomes too old to bend easily.  The time to shape and bend is when the stem is still green and pliable.

What are the 3 stages of parenting?

I found that there are three main stages in a child’s development and therefore we must complement these stages with 3 styles of parenting. In the video above, I share the 3 stages of parenting:


This is the first stage. It starts when our children are born.  We care for them. The mission of this stage is teaching them how to be safe.  This is where we keep them from fire, sharp objects, and chemicals. In this stage, they are too young to understand the world.

We are their guardians. Our first priority is to put protection on items that can harm. We cater our world to fit into theirs. The truth is that there are sharp dangerous objects everywhere. They don’t know that yet because we put things away and gate off dangerous areas.


After you teach them how to be safe, they will need you to teach them to be secure in themselves. Why is this the second stage? Life’s course requires them to learn about themselves and their individual value. Once our children leave the safety stage, they will start socializing with other children. 

If a child isn’t secure in who they are, they will be vulnerable to peer pressure. They will feel as though they aren’t good enough to stand alone. More assertive children will see their insecurities and exploit their need to feel secure.

Give them security by affirming them.  When they know their worth, they won’t seek approval from their friends.  You will see leadership and independence budding in this stage.

NOTE: Whenever you see a parent struggling to regain control over their child (teenager), it’s usually a result of them not properly building SECURITY (Stage 2). 

Because the parents did not build the child’s security in their own identity, they found other “builders” elsewhere. These are usually friends at school or even social media influencers. As the child sees truth in the words of their new life teachers, the respect and loyalty goes to whoever has taught them to value themselves. The danger in allowing others to do this is that THERE IS ALWAYS A COST!
Learning to build your child's security in their identity will allow you, their parent, to retain their respect and loyalty as they see the truth you share unfold like a novel...even when you aren't around them.


Once they begin to see their place in the ocean of their peers, they will begin to chart their course through life:

  • making decisions
  • trying
  • learning
  • failing

they do NOT need “I told you so’s.”  They need “supporters.”  As a youth leader and former kid, myself, I saw many parents get this wrong. When they had the opportunity to be their children’s rock, they completely missed out because they chose vindication over validation.

They chose to rub a failure in their child’s face to establish their own dominance and regain control over their child’s life. Don’t make this mistake. This is an opportunity to teach your child and regain (or strengthen) their respect and loyalty to you.

This is your chance to show them that you are an inseparable part of their growth and ultimate success in life.  Let them decide on their own.  Yes. They will make mistakes. It’s not the end of the world. Your most noble role is to observe and offer counsel. 

RELAX!  You’re still in control here because you will initiate their independence. Think about that. You are the one they will credit for teaching them to fly. They will know that you trusted them enough to “let them” make decisions.  

Consider the alternative 

I’ve witnessed the dangers of despotic parenting.  The poor kids would cringe at the sound of their parents’ voices.  The mother and father would starve them of any right or freedom.  They would secretly crave the exercise of will (given to every man). Finally, they stake their claim through rebellion and defiance.

After a while their rebellion will persist only to send a message straight to your heart, “YOU ARE NOT THE BOSS OF ME!”  Okay, a bit dramatic but you get my point.

You can choose to react to defiance & rebellion or you can start early and initiate your teen’s independence by lending your trust & vision to them, reminding them that you were a supporter of their leadership.

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