As parents we are always told not to compare our children with others, that every child is different and they all do things in their own time.
This, my friends is a very hard task. Every book, website and other parent is jamming stats down our throats about what age we should expect our child to do every single little thing. While I can understand that we need to monitor our children to ensure that developmental goals are being met. I do believe there is far too much focus and pressure on our children to do things by certain ages and not enough focus on letting them be children and develop in their own time.
It’s almost like every parent wants to beat the age goal that is set so they can boast about their child being ‘advanced’ or ‘ahead’ of the game. This is fantastic if your child is doing everything on time or early but let’s all spare a thought for the parents of the children who may do things a little later (as a mother of a prem baby that didn’t walk until 17 months. I know this feeling all too well). Let’s also consider the parents of children who may have a learning difficulty or disability. They may not want to constantly hear how your child is running around at 10 months and speaking in sentences when they may be faced with the thought of their child never walking or talking.
Mother’s groups are notorious for this kind of behaviour and I speak to many women who are concerned about little things like their baby not sleeping, rolling or walking, all because all the other babies in mother’s group are doing it? If your health nurse or pediatrician isn’t concerned there is probably no reason for you to be.
As mother’s, being truthful, thoughtful, supportive and compassionate of each other is very important. Some babies will walk early and may speak late. Some do everything early and others do everything late. Children develop at different speeds and it’s not reflective of what sort of parent you are.
I understand that we are all proud of our children, but sprouting off fun facts about how advanced your child is at every opportunity (including social media) isn’t an endearing trait. Personally, I would much prefer to hear the good and the bad, and I will tell you the same.
At the end of the day, take note of the stats but don’t base your life around them. Children are all different and have different interests and personalities just like adults. Let them be kids, they are only little and carefree for a short time!!!