BASIC TRUST 1st MENTAL YEAR AGE 0-2
INDEPENDENCE 2nd NORMALLY 2-4
INITIATIVE 3rd NORMALLY 4-6
GANG-AGE 4th NORMALLY 6-12
TEENAGE 5th NORMALLY 12-19
Stage one: BASIC TRUST 0-2
The fundamental building block of all human
relationships; accomplished in first mental year; with it
o The ability to hold our heart open to others and life
o Security: the basic sense that "I'm OK, and
o Resilience: the capacity to bounce back
o The courage to venture out, and take risks
o The ability to "shift gears", accept change,
and bend without breaking
o Strength of spirit: having one's own center of
decision; strength to discipline the mind
o To enter into relationships; to meet spirit to spirit
to enter into intimacy
We learn basic trust from one primary experience
Affectionate touch should be received from both parents,
but especially from father who draws children to life.
Ephesians 6:1,2,4 Fathers teach children how to meet the
two INDEPENDENCE 2-4
Independence helps you to achieve and accomplish basic
to those we depend upon for survival. It also gives you a
sense of Individuation (the ability to distinguish
between "me" and "you")
The parent's role is to encourage rather than to crush a
child's ability to say no Proverbs 22:6 train up a child
in the way he/she should go.
Not the way the parent wants he/she to go.
Discipline is helping to define limits of independence.
Children without proper discipline are left confused, and
lack direction. Discipline and affection are both acts of
love. Discipline should not violate or abuse. Striking a
child when you are angry can lead to abuse. The
punishment should match the crime.
Stage three INITAT1VE 4-6
This is the capacity to enter and sustain peer
relationships. If we have learned basic trust and
independence, we can enter freely into the give and take
of sharing emotions, thoughts, and space with others.
Children first play along side others; now they learn to
play with others. We find security in ourselves, not
others; without it, we are controlled by others.
Compliance and domination
Without initiative, children will either comply with or
dominate others. The complying one (chameleon) goes along
The dominating one fears the intimacy
of give and take.
Boredom comes from meeting life through your mind instead
of your spirit. Without basic trust we can tend to think
of people as objects.
fathers: A Brief History
Prior to World War 1, nuclear families were surrounded by
extended families. When fathers went to war, uncles and
grandfathers held the children; those generations
developed basic trust.
Then came mobility: many families moved away from
extended family to find new lives In other cities and
The nuclear family
Fathers went to battle again in WW II. This time there
were no uncles and grandfathers close by to hold
children. Even when they returned, many fathers came home
wounded and/or had so much to do to catch up with
schooling and careers,
they didn't give the affect on their children needed;
thus, that generation did not receive basic trust.
When those children became fathers, they hadn't learned
how to be true fathers and couldn't give affection, thus,
succeeding generations never receiving could never give.
Consequently, our society suffers from serious moral
breakdown. TV programs often portray fathers as bumbling
idiots relationally, while TV moms "have it all
Stage Four GANG -AGE 6-12
Children develop the ability to "belong" to a
group of peers; normally characterized by a comparison or
conflict between values and morals of individual and of
the gang. The emerging importance of "peer
pressure" looms forth at this point.
Experimentation and the acquisition of some adult life
skills take place at this stage i.e., money management,
the capacity to earn money mowing lawns, babysitting,
It is good to encourage the child to start learning these
skills now, so they can be developed by the time he/she
is ready step out on his/her own.
In an effort to protect our children, or control our
children we harm them by not teaching them to face the
by allowing them to develop these skills and make
mistakes on a smaller scale, rather than allowing them to
go out totally ill prepared to handle their own affairs.
The subconscious plan is to keep them dependent on us the
parents for as long as we can, but this can back fire and
they become dependent on someone out there that wants to
control, and manipulate them. We do our children an
injustice by not teaching them to be independent and
teaching them initiative.
The "GANG-AGE STRUGGLE" ;
Without initiative (built upon basic trust and
independence) the child may comply with peers, even when
gang decisions are bad (fear-based). If a child has
always complied with family values and morals, it is
likely that he/she will also comply with gang values and
morals at this stage. Examples of area compliance might
be clothing, sexual attitudes, language, and music.
You walk into your child's bedroom one day and find that,
that sweet loving, obedient clingy, hang on every word
you say and think that you are the smartest daddy/mommy
in the world has been replaced by the kid from hell. This
new kid hates being in the same room with you. He/she got
a communique� that gave him/her the low down on all your
short-comings, hypocrisies, inconsistencies, and
weaknesses. He/she has decided to point each one of them
out at the most inopportune times.
Welcome to stage four
This is a normal growing and breaking away from parent
dominants. If there isn't any of this going on then the
parent might be too controlling and domineering. The
child has not been allowed enough latitude to make
mistakes share his/her feelings and has had to stuff
emotions because it didn't suit mother or father.
You might hear the parent say" You might be angry,
but you better not let me see it!" The message here
is stuff and hide your emotions.
This child has been so dominated and ill prepared for
life that adulthood becomes a tenor.
The parent thinks that they have done a good job, because
they look at other rebellious children who have put their
parents through misery and they say, "not my
kid" he/she has been made to toe the mark.
What happens when they get out into the real world where
life is trial and error. If he/she has been made to feel
badly about him/her self, if he/she has been made to feel
that you are bad if you make a mistake,
this child might settle for whatever they have, because
fear of making any mistakes might paralyze them and keep
growing into his/her full potential.
Stuff your feelings, because you're not entitled to be
angry, sad, fearful, etc. This adult will have a very
difficult time re-learning what should have been taught
Five TEEN-AGE 12-19
The teenager who has accomplished basic trust
independence, and initiative is on the brink of
adulthood. He/she is able to enter into mature, equal
relationships. He/she should be able to make important
decisions based on growing sense of right and wrong, and
say "no" when appropriate. He/she should be
able to accomplish two basic tasks:
Individuation: to break away from parental control and
make their own decisions.
Internalization: to weigh everything that has come
through parents, society, culture and make their own
The difficulty is that teenagers must continue to live
under parents' authority, thus they are problems simply
because they exist. However, even as adults we are all
under some authority, so it can still be a good learning
The struggle of teenage years
Gang-age problems multiply as modem teenagers face adult
issues without appropriate skills. In contrast,
adolescents of the Bible often worked at home, with
father. He lived with the extended family, and was
regarded as an adult on his l3th birthday, with Bar
Mitzvah (Son of the Divine Law, commandment)
We do not give advice, but here are a few suggestions for
parents of teenagers.
Teenagers should not be controlled like younger children.
I Timothy 3:4 refers to children under 13. If we try too
hard, we as parents can turn individuation into
rebellion. Especially if we are in the ministry. The
other problem for ministers is that we parentally invert
our children, We expect them to act more adult-like,
steal their childhood, and make them responsible for our
success or failure as a minister. We will send a message
that everyone will judge us, by the way you act!
let your children be children. The one thing that is as
consistent as the sun rising is, that people will judge
you any way.
o Begin to "let go"~ Fight the urge to be
o Offer trust and faith in your teenager, even when they
have blown it.
o Offer affection freely.
o Talk about the mistakes that you have made
o If what you are doing is not working try something
else. You cannot continue to do the same thing over and
over and expect a different result.
The loss of trust
Sometimes basic trust developed normally in childhood can
be shattered later in life
o By sibling rivalries, and woundings
o Economic troubles
o Being excluded "belonging issues"
o Teasing and ridicule
o Family position (I used to be the baby and now I got
for lack of Basic Trust
The first task on the resurrection side of healing is to
rebuild/restore basic trust.
o Offer affectionate and appropriate touch which reaches
beyond the present to the little one within.
o Have faith for the client that God will provide what is
o Pray for trust to be rebuilt and restored.
o Support the client during the time needed to grow to
"...who through faith and patience inherit the
promises. "Hebrews 6:12
The client may climb, reach plateaus and sometimes slip
back into old ways on the way to healing. They need
constant encouragement, not condemnation.
There is therefore no condemnation in Jesus Christ.
When a client calls you and is crying about his/her
failure, don't be moved to pity, simply say "fine,
you messed up, so take it to the cross, put it to death,
ask the Lord to forgive you and ask Him for a glorious
opposite get back up dust yourself off and move on."
Do not, say anything like "How could you do that
again?" or How could you be so stupid?" or
"Why after all you have been through would you put
your self it that same situation?" or
" It's OK, you probably couldn't help
yourself." Acknowledge that they blew it and send
them to the cross.
It is important to let the clients know that the Lord
will never give up on them, no matter how many times they
mess up. Failure is not messing up; the failure is when
we quit trying.
A common phenomenon accompanying the lack of basic trust
in adults is late individuation. It will help to:
o Understand the problem
o Offer the necessary freedom for the mate to find
identity (school, work, hobbies, etc.)
o Be a part of the learning process; share books, tapes,
counseling experience, but don't try to teach
o Pray that the Lord imparts basic trust, independence,
Psalm 22:9 - Yet you brought me out of the Womb; you made
me trust in you even at my mother's breast.
Proverbs 3:5 - Trust in the Lord with all your heart and
lean not on your own understanding.
Proverbs 22:6 - Train a child in the way he should go,
and when he is old he will not turn from it.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-11 -There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
What does the worker gain from his toil? I have seen
the burden Cod has laid on men. He has made
everything beautiful in its time. He has also set
eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom
what God has done from beginning to end.
Malachi 4:5-6 - See, I will send you the prophet Elijah
before that great and dreadful day of the Lord comes. He
will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children,
and the hearts of the children to their fathers; or else
I will come and strike the land with a curse.
Luke 6:47-49-- 'I will show you what he is like who comes
to me and hears my words and puts them into practice. He
is like a man building a house, whom dug down deep and
laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the
torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because
it was well built. But the one who hears my words and
does not put them into practice is like a man who built a
house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the
torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its
destruction was complete.'
I Corinthians 13:7 -- It [Love] always protects, always
trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Ephesians 6:1-3 - Children, obey your parents in the
Lord, for this is right. 'Honor your father and
mother-which is the first commandment with a promise-that
it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life
on the earth."
I Timothy 3:4 (NAS) -- He must be one who manages his own
household well, keeping his children under control with
Hebrews 6:12 -- We do not want you to become lazy, but to
imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what
has been promised.
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Last Updated Tuesday June 7, 2011