while listening to a professor of life-span development talk about hitting the milestones of early childhood, i felt pretty guilty.   she was talking about how parents like to compare their child to other children.   this is something a lot of parents do, some even without realizing it.  why do we do it?  unless your kid is very dramatically behind (to the point where something may be wrong congitively, physically, ...) what is the point?  my  big place of guilt came in with walking.  my daughter was 9 1/2 months when she took her first step, and by 10 months there was nothing i could do to stop her.  i was really proud of that fact.  none of the other moms i talked to had kids her age walking yet, but you know what?  just a couple of months later, near their first birthdays, pretty  much all those kids were walking. 

our stress shouldn't be how quickly our children learn the skill necessary for life only that they learn them.  by the time they hit kindergarden, do you think their teacher is going to care if they could identify their nose at 11 months or 2 1/2 years?  most likely not.  we need to not worry if our kids don't develope at the same rate as everyone else.  all children are different and need to be thought of that way.  the ages we're told kids will start something is just a normative age for the event.  you will always have some kids that do them much quicker and much slower.  others will do them right as scheduled.  there is no sense putting pressure on yourself or your child to do something they are not ready to do.  there is also no reason to boast about your child's accomplishments to another parent of the same age group child that you know hasn't made it to that mark yet.  first of all it isn't a good way to make friends and secondly, why would you want to make another parent possibly feel bad because their child might be behind, when in reality they still have plenty of time before they even right the 'normal' age. 

am i saying we shouldn't be proud of our kids when the do things?  absolutely not!  but don't just tell people when your kid does thing early, praise them for all their accomplishments.  everything they do is like climbing a small mountain and is worthy of praise, regardless of the time it takes to master it.   

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April...
Feb. 2, 2008 at 11:44 PM I agree with you 100%.  My daughter didn't start walking till she was 13 months old.  She is now almost 22 months old and can already count to 10 and identify her body parts.  I get a lot of criticism that my daughter is too young to be doing, but she learned that from watching the Sprout channel and me reading lots and lots of books to her because she LOVES it when I read to her.  I am proud of everything I do, and comparing kids to other kids is kinda stupid.  Every kid is different.

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