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How Do You Know You're Doing Enough? *I Feel Like A Failure*

So, I see all these mamas on here saying oh my child knows this, can do this, blahblahblah. DD is almost 17 months, and we play, but she has alot of unstructured individual play, which she loves, when she wants me to play, we play together. We sing the alphabet song, we dance, I try to point out new things to her when I think about it. Like recently she learned "train" and knows what one sounds like. But as far as working on colors already, and letters, and all this stuff these moms say their toddlers know, yeah we dont do that. I don't baby talk her so IMO she has a very good vocabulary. (Despite the times you can't understand her lol) My family says I am doing wonderful, and she is so smart, but I guess it's these other moms making me feel like she needs to be super smart already. Why can't she be a kiddo and have fun for awhile? She's learning other things besides school type stuff......right?


Asked by Sparta. at 10:34 AM on Mar. 19, 2010 in General Parenting

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Answers (10)
  • i just assume they are exaggerating or bluffing completely. i dont take them to heart (bragging moms.) i figure they are compensating for feeling inadequate in their lives... yeah sure some of the kids are really ahead. but not all that claim it. my son is 4. i am a teacher. he is a little ahead and a little behind in different areas. i dont stress because he is an individual and i know that all kids are different people with different interests and abilities and your social development is a much better indicator of lifetime success than academic achievement!


    Answer by AmaliaD at 1:35 PM on Mar. 19, 2010

  • I'm a firm believer in unstructured play up until about 2 and a half. After that you can start the learning the basics thru play.Don't compare yourself to these women,they're probably full of crap anyway!

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:38 AM on Mar. 19, 2010

  • Just love her. She's processing it all. One day she will be way past them all and it will shock you. Just let her be her.

    Answer by admckenzie at 10:38 AM on Mar. 19, 2010

  • She is learning plenty! All kids need at that age is food, hugs, talk and interaction! She will learn her colors befor you know it...just enjy your girly and have fun! My dd is 8 and sharp as a whip, I be sure to talk to her about things I need to but lots of times we go on walks and act silly and enjoy eachothers company.

    Answer by ria7 at 10:40 AM on Mar. 19, 2010

  • One important thing I've learned since I started homeschooling my kids is that I cannot compare my kids to other kids!!! I guess in some areas, they might be ahead of other kids their age, but they might be behind in other areas. I had to stop worrying about what everyone else is doing, and where their kids are at, I was driving myself crazy. You'll drive YOURSELF crazy if you try to worry about what everyone else is teaching their children and how smart their children are. ENJOY your daughter and enjoy what she's doing now. Trust me, she's learning more than you think she is.

    PS- Don't always believe it when people brag about how much their kids know!!! Sometimes mothers feel the need to exaggerate or even downright lie in order to make themselves feel better.

    Answer by Bethsunshine at 10:42 AM on Mar. 19, 2010

  • My guess is that she's learning a LOT from you! I don't sit down with my two year old and work on colors, but he knows a lot of them now just because of the way I talk to him. ("Let's play with the red ball", etc.) Your style is relaxed (mine is too), other mothers are more structured in their teaching. Neither is "right," IMO, it's what works for you and your child. When she's preparing (about a year before) to go to Kindergarten is the time to be more formal, I don't think it's necessary when they're toddlers.

    Sounds to me like you're doing great, don't be so hard on yourself!

    Answer by Scuba at 10:42 AM on Mar. 19, 2010

  • I wanted to add - don't believe everything the "super moms" tell you about their brilliant children. :)

    Answer by Scuba at 10:44 AM on Mar. 19, 2010

  • Thank You Mamas! It was getting to me last night, I'm pregnant with DD2, and can't sleep anymore and was sitting up for about 2 hours worrying about it. I feel better knowing I'm not alone in wanting to just enjoy it all instead of trying to cram stuff into their heads this young. :)

    Answer by Sparta. at 10:52 AM on Mar. 19, 2010

  • My son knew all that stuff, however, it wasn't because we did anything structured...that was when he turned 4. I taught him by not Baby talking and by pointing things out in our daily life. Like the other poster said...Do you want the red ball? You know, teaching, but, not makeing it seem like class. He caught on quickly. He also had mostly unstructured free play without my input as well. Now, I was determined to not teach him ABC's and 123's...because I knew all that way before kindergaten and I didn't want him bored like i was. Then, I went to the kindergarten meeting and found out that school now is WAY different than when I went. So, we did actual learning class time at home then.

    Answer by BradenIsMySon at 10:52 AM on Mar. 19, 2010

  • I'd push unstructured play to three, three and a half years old definitely then start home lessen. Kindergarten is very very competitive for students. It sets the stage for being tagged special or not. There's nothing wrong with special. What's wrong is the pressure teachers put on students to excel with A's in kindergarten as starters. It brings parents to their knees in tears and prayers.

    Three, three and a half years old start 1/2 an hour morning and afternoon, up to an hour when tolerates well of workbook age appropriate or a year younger to orient child to time structure of school learning and what's learned in kindergarten.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:56 AM on Mar. 19, 2010