Parts taken from the “Child and Parent” workshop presented by Dagmara du Plessis
Most of you have a camera on your Cell phones and I am sure you have a photo of your child on it. Place this photo in front of you and then write a letter to this young person, telling him/her everything that you know about him/her/them.
An Individual begins life as a single cell which develops from fusion of a sperm cell of the father, with an egg cell of the mother. The inherited genes present in this cell have a lifelong influence on the development of the individual. Together with the heredity factors, the environmental- and constitutional factors play an important role in the intellectual-, emotional-, physical-, social- and spiritual development of the child.
As the child moves through the different developmental stages of life he becomes a unique person in his own right with his own identity, individuality, separateness and worth.
Elaborate on your child’s own uniqueness – his own identity, separateness, individuality and worth. Give some examples.
How do you accept your child’s unique qualities? These are both the unique good, as well as the less acceptable qualities. Give a reason for each quality you like or dislike.
From dependence to independence to interdependence
We each begin life as an infant, totally dependent on others. During this time we are directed, nurtured and sustained by others. Without this nurturing, we would only live for a few hours or maybe a few days. On the maturity level dependence is all about you – you take care of me, you are to blame for the things that went wrong.
Then gradually over months and years, we become more and more independent – physically, mentally emotionally and financially, until we eventually take care of ourselves, becoming inner directed and self reliant. When independence is developing the paradigm shifts to: I can do it, I am responsible, I can choose, I am self reliant.
As we continue to grow and mature we become increasingly aware that all of nature is interdependent, that there is an ecological system that governs nature, including society. We discover that we are in need of relationships with others and through this awareness of life, we realise that we are also interdependent. Through interdependence we reach a perception of we – we can do it, we can cooperate.
Dependent people need others to get what they want, Independent people can get what they want through their own efforts. Interdependent people combine their efforts with the efforts of others to achieve their greatest success. These are the people who have the opportunity to share themselves deeply, meaningfully with others and they have vast recourses and potential that they can utilise from others.
As part of the interdependent world you have to relate to your world every day. You have an impact on every interdependent interaction in your world and this includes your relationship with your children/child and other loved ones.
Take a few minutes to reflect on these levels of development and truthfully assess your journey with your child towards interdependency.