Journal of Adult Development

, Volume 18, Issue 4, pp 164–171 | Cite as

Developing Together: Parents Meeting Children’s Developmental Imperatives

Article

Abstract

It is well known that the parent influences the child, but few realize how much the child changes the adult. This paper reports research that explored how adults change when they learn to nurture their child’s developmental needs. It also explores how empathy with the child impacts an adult’s ability to move through his or her own unresolved childhood issues into new meaning and relationships. Using qualitative methods and quantitative measures, the research captures perspectives of 20 parents about their own development from using child development principles. Analysis resulted in the identification of five themes: (a) cognitive development in perspective, differentiation from past ways, and new meaning-making; (b) emotional development of trust, empathy, and affective complexity; (c) personal agency of intentional effort and use of critical self-inquiry; (d) adult well-being; and (e) emergence of wisdom. More research is needed to determine the association between child development competence and adult development.

Keywords

Adult development Child development Family systems Bidirectional development Multi-directional development 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Summa Institute ™ and Luvmour Consulting, LLCPortlandUSA
  2. 2.School of Human DevelopmentGraduate of Fielding Graduate UniversitySanta BarbaraUSA

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