Navigating the 6 Stages of Parenthood

What changes await as you enter parenthood? Get the lowdown.

Click on an item in the set below to see more info.

1. Image-Making Stage: Pregnancy

Expecting parents prepare for the new changes to come. They think about their increased responsibility and changing relationships with each other and their new child.

2. Nurturing Stage: Birth to 18–24 Months

Parents form bonds of attachment with the new baby. They learn to balance the baby's needs with their spouse, work, and friends.

3. Authoritative Stage: Two to Four Years

Toddlers on the go need discipline, guidance, and love from their parents.

4. Interpretive Stage: Preschool to Adolescence

Parents help children understand the consequences of their actions and how to interpret the world around them.

5. Interdependent Stage: Adolescence

Teenagers are given more responsibility and involvement in decisions, yet parents are ultimately in control. Providing the teenager support and independence is a careful balancing act. Parent supports the teenager as she struggles to find her identity.

6. Departure Stage: Adulthood

New relationships form between the adult-child and the parents. When the child leaves home parents find new identities, and they may need to cope with having an empty nest.

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