Developmental Tasks

I’m currently preparing for my upcoming course on Boundaries which will be offered at the Columbia Area Career Center – Adult Education Department in the fall.  Here’s some material I’m including in the required reading for the course.  It’s borrowed from Janae and Barry Weinhold’s The Flight from Intimacy: Healing Your Relationship of Counter-dependency – the Other Side of Co-dependency.   I find a lot of love, acceptance, compassion for myself, and relief in reading this stuff, and hope you do too!

 

THE DEVELOPMENTAL STAGES AND ESSENTIAL DEVELOPMENTAL

PROCESSES OF INDIVIDUAL EVOLUTION

Stage of

Development

and Primary Task

Essential Developmental

Processes of Individual

Evolution

Suggested Experiences for Completing

The Essential Developmental Processes

of Individual Evolution

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Co-Dependency

(Conception to

Six Months)

Bonding and

Attachment

  • Mother receives good prenatal care and support

 

Child:

  • experiences a non-violent birth with immediate interventions to heal any birth trauma
  • achieves consistent, secure bonding and attachment with mother and/or other adult care-givers
  • learns primal trust in parents through a consistent resonant connection
  • learns emotional resiliency skills
  • creates a secure internal working model of self/other
  • learns healthy emotional communication and social engagement skills with parents and others
  • bonds securely with siblings and extended family
Mother:

  • maintains a high-quality diet and reduces environmental stressors to prevent the risk of cortisol production during pregnancy
  • receives effective postnatal emotional and physical support
  • provides nurturing, respectful touch and eye contact; she gazes at, signs to, and speaks to the child in loving ways

 

Parents:

  • plan for and want the child
  • build prenatal relationship with the child
  • use nonviolent birthing practices
  • nurse and room-in at the hospital and have prolonged skin-to-skin contact between child and each parent in the first 12-24 hours following birth

 

Child:

  • gets timely emotional and tactile comforting to help heal developmental traumas caused by disruptions in resonant connection to parents
  • receives unconditional love from parents
  • receives authentic mirroring and validation of his or her essence from parents

 

Immediate and extended family members:

  • provide consistent, nurturing, and empathic contact
  • provide comfortable and protective environment to meet the child’s needs for safety and survival

 

 

 

THE DEVELOPMENTAL STAGES AND ESSENTIAL DEVELOPMENTAL

PROCESSES OF INDIVIDUAL EVOLUTION (continued)

Stage of

Development

and Primary Task

Essential Developmental

Processes of Individual

Evolution

Suggested Experiences for Completing

The Essential Developmental Processes

of Individual Evolution

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Counter-

Dependency

(Six to Thirty-

six Months)

Separation and

Individuation

Child:

  • completes the psy-chological separation process with parents
  • learns to safely explore his or her environment
  • learns to trust and regulate his or her own thoughts, feelings, and behaviors in socially appropriate ways
  • internalizes appropriate physical and social limits
  • develops healthy narcissism
  • resolves internal conflicts between oneness and separateness (I’m okay, you’re okay)
  • bonds with self
  • continues to build secure internal working model
  • completes his or her individuation or psychological birth process
Parents:

  • offer timely help in healing any narcissistic wounds or developmental traumas that interfere with resonance
  • give the child permission and support to safely explore his or her environment; they give the child twice as many yeses as nos during this time
  • rearrange environment to provide safety
  • understand and respect the child’s need to develop internal regulation of emotions, especially shame
  • help the child identify self-needs, as opposed to the needs of others
  • model how to directly ask to have one’s needs met
  • use nonshaming responses in limit-setting and discipline
  • give positive support for the child’s efforts to develop an autonomous Self

 

Adult Caregivers:

  • help the child quickly reestablish the resonant connection with the mother when it’s disrupted
  • offer empathy and compassion as the child learns to regulate his or her conflicting emotions, thoughts, and behaviors
  • offer authentic mirroring and validation of the child’s essence
  • offer permission for the child to be a separate individual and to trust his or her internal impulses

 

 

 

THE DEVELOPMENTAL STAGES AND ESSENTIAL DEVELOPMENTAL

PROCESSES OF INDIVIDUAL EVOLUTION (continued)

Stage of

Development

and Primary Task

Essential Developmental

Processes of Individual

Evolution

Suggested Experiences for Completing

The Essential Developmental Processes

of Individual Evolution

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Independence

(Three to Six

Years)

Mastery of Self

And Environment

Child:

  • masters self-care
  • masters the process of becoming a functionally autonomous individual, separate from parents
  • masters object constancy
  • develops and trusts his or her own core values and beliefs
  • has secure bonding experiences with nature
  • learns effective social engagement skills
  • develops secure internal working model of self/other
  • bonds securely with peers
Parents:

  • rearrange home environment to support the child’s mastery of self-care(eating, dressing, and toilet training)
  • support the child’s development of effective internal limits and consequences
  • help the child learn appropriate emotional self-regulation and control
  • help the child learn to trust his or her inner sense of wisdom and guidance
  • provide the child with experiences for the safe exploration of nature
  • help the child develop sensory relationships with nature
  • provide for reciprocal social interactions with other children
  • teach cross-relational thinking, including empathy and respect for others
  • help the child develop cause/effect problem-solving skills

 

  • Immediate and extended family members: offer nurturing, supportive, and consistent contact

 

  • Adults model partnership solutions to conflicts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE DEVELOPMENTAL STAGES AND ESSENTIAL DEVELOPMENTAL

PROCESSES OF INDIVIDUAL EVOLUTION (continued)

Stage of

Development

and Primary Task

Essential Developmental

Processes of Individual

Evolution

Suggested Experiences for Completing

The Essential Developmental Processes

of Individual Evolution

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Inter-

dependence

(Six to Twenty-

nine Years)

Cooperation

and

Negotiation

Skills

Child:

  • learns to cooperate with others
  • learns to negotiate with others to get his or her needs met
  • learns to accept responsibility for his or her personal behaviors and life experiences
  • experiences secure bonding with peers and other adults
  • develops a social conscience
  • bonds securely with his or her culture
  • bonds securely with the planet
  • lives his or her life as an authentic adult
  • bonds securely with own children
  • understands the influence of incomplete developmental processes on his or her life and how to successfully heal developmental traumas
Parents model effective cooperative social engagement skills in couple, family, and peer relationships

 

Child:

  • seeks to learn negotiation skills to get his or her needs met in healthy ways
  • seeks solutions to his or her conflicts that honor the needs of all parties involved
  • seeks adult validation of the importance of keeping his or her relationship agreements
  • seeks an adult model that can teach him or her empathy and compassion for others
  • seeks adults who can teach him or her intuitive language and thinking skills
  • seeks nurturing, supportive, and consistent contact from immediate and extended family members
  • seeks support from parents and other adults on how to build sustainable relationships with other adults and how to find a primary love partner
  • seeks adult input on the values of his or her cultural group and how to overcome any limits imposed by family and culture
  • seeks personal meaning and a personal mission within the context of the “global family”
  • seeks information and skills for healing his or her developmental traumas
  • seeks assistance in developing systemic and transsystemic thinking

 

  • Adults encourage the development of an internalized “safety parent” allowing safe risk-taking behaviors

 

 

 

 

 

 

Four tables borrowed from The Flight from Intimacy: Healing Your Relationship of Counter-Dependency—the other side of Co-dependency by Janae and Barry Weinhold.

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