(EXPLORATORY STAGE 9-18 MONTHS; SEPARATION STAGE 18 MONTHS- 3 YEARS)
EXPLORATORY • We go through two stages during toddlerhood. First, the exploratory stage during 9 -18 months begins with crawling. This involves moving around, touching, tasting, and in general exploring what is around us. If a basic sense of trust is established during infancy from patient, emotionally balanced and nurturing parents, we will have a healthy sense of future exploration, creative risk taking, and adventure.
SEPARATION • The second period we go through is the separation stage, which runs from 18 months to 3 years. Some view this as a second birth, for it marks the true beginning of I AM-ness. This is the stage where we learn balance. Holding on and letting go – in balance. The only way we can fully learn this true balance is if both parents are present and if both have their own individual complete sense of balance. Otherwise, we develop gaps in healthy balance.
At this stage, a child needs both caretakers present, so one can support the other during all of the “no’s,” “I can do it’s,” and tantrums when one parent needs a rest. In order for us to develop healthy limits, we need to have two parents who model a healthy expression of anger and good skills in resolving conflict. Conflict resolution is crucial for the foundation of intimacy and future intimate relationships. Therefore, children need to witness two parents honestly expressing their true feelings and resolving their disagreements.
Healthy willpower and adventure is the goal of toddlerhood.
Healthy willpower allows us to develop the power of doing. Without healthy willpower, we have no discipline. If we don’t learn or aren’t modeled healthily holding on, then overdoing, over-indulging, and substance abuse arises. If we don’t learn or aren’t modeled healthily letting go, then hoarding, over-control, and compulsive obsessive behavior arises. For example, if we have a father who was constantly at work and drank too much every evening, the imbalance of holding on develops (this is a father who models no boundaries for himself). Or if we have a mother who viewed rest or stillness with guilt, and controlled everything, the imbalance of letting go develops (this is a mother who models that she has no right to joy or doesn’t deserve it).
It’s equally important to learn during this stage that nobody is perfect. Mom, Dad, or me. It’s important to know that we can still have a bad day and be loved. And lastly, it’s important for parents to model a healthy sense of boundaries for themselves and you. This is teaching you when to say “no,” speak up, and create space.
In manifestation, our most magnetic state is the balance between the two polarities of holding on and letting go. The balance between the two allows us to develop the healthy in-between, balanced energy, deservingness, stillness, standing in our power, and not needing to control or be lazy.
BLOCKS • Potential growth disorders or gaps in magnetism during this time:
No sense of boundaries or putting others’ needs before our own
Afraid to explore, adventure, and take risks (i.e. trusting the Universe)
Controlling, compulsion, and overindulging
Lack of balance in all aspects of life
Intimacy, communication, and conflict resolution issues
Do you have trouble knowing what you want?
Are you afraid to explore when you get to a new place?
Are you afraid to try new things? Before you do, do you wait until someone has tried it before you?
Do you have great fears of abandonment?
In difficult situations, do you long for someone to tell you what to do?
If someone gives you a suggestion, do you feel you ought to follow it?
Do you have trouble actually being IN your experience? i.e. You’re on vacation, and you can’t be present or feel it entirely?
Are you a big worrier?
Do you have trouble being spontaneous? Are you too spontaneous?
Do you tend to be obsessive about neatness and cleanliness? Or is your space too out of order?
Will you do almost anything to avoid conflict? Or do you do things to trigger conflict (to reinforce that you are loved)?
Do you extremely overdo or over-consume anything in your life?
Are you often excessively critical of other people?
Journal about anything important that came up during your DI