Science & Research:
Human Development

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Author: Laine Lipsky, Masters in Teaching, Certified Parent Educator

Overview:

Human Development
> Communication & Healthy Lifelong Bonds

 

Parenting is a portal into the rest of our lives, including our relationships – all of them. The information and skills I share with parents are really Human Relationships 101. It’s not unusual for clients to tell me that, as a result of working together, their relationships have improved across the board, not only with their children but also with their partners, in-laws, bosses, employees, and most importantly themselves

Ingredients Behind Healthy Relationships

Healthy relationships require a combination of inner- and outer- skills—including self-awareness, self-regulation, compassion, and communication. Most of us never learned any of these skills growing up, yet it’s incumbent on us to develop them quickly in order to be happier and pass them along to our children. Not only do we want to shed ourselves of dysfunctional patterns, we also want our children to live more emotionally-healthy lives. The elements of healthy relationships on which I focus are: communication and developing positive lifelong bonds.

Why Improving Relationship Skills is Vital

Being a parent gives us a special opportunity to practice our relationship skills in the most important context we will ever have - and if we learn to succeed there, where the stakes are high and we are most likely to be triggered, we can succeed in every other relationship in our lives. There is no greater motivation to heal and grow than liberating our own children from their dysfunctional legacy. The phrase “Let it begin with me” is powerful, but “Let it end with me” holds even more weight.

Who Are The Leading Experts?

Communication
For healthy communication with kids, I appreciate the work of Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish.


Healthy Lifelong Bonds
For relationship expertise, I rely heavily on the works of Dr. John Gottman and Dr. Stan Tatkin. Although their focus is primarily on adult-adult relationships, their teachings inform so much about how parenting impacts us as adults. In the work I do,

 

I reverse-engineer their findings in adults to see what changes can be made in childhood through our parenting choices. Why wait to undo problems in adulthood that can be totally avoided through a healthier childhood? In other words, let’s raise kids who won’t have to recover from childhood!

What Research is Behind Human Development?

The more we understand how humans operate the better we can raise our children to be well-adjusted adults. If parenting is extra-hard because we have a difficult child and/or we had a difficult childhood ourselves, we will need more understanding, tools and support.

 

Here are publications to review:

Important Human Development Findings

  • There are healthy ways to communicate with children that promote cooperation

  • Emotional intelligence is a huge indicator of a child’s success in life

  • Our early childhood experiences inform how we behave in our adult relationships