I compare my child to other children. Yes, I do. Am I awful? Should I just be focusing on my child and letting him go at his own pace? Well, I say no to the first and yes to the second.
Everywhere I look, mothers are asking questions on forums, discussion pages and Facebook about their child’s development. More often than not, a few will pipe up in response, “You really shouldn’t worry…all children go at their own pace. It’s best not to compare”
I’ve only got one child so far. And sometimes I compare him to other children. Not because I’m competitive and not because I’m ‘freaking’ out about his development. But because I like to KNOW things. I’m curious as to when he will be doing certain things and achieving certain milestones. I don’t think there is anything wrong with that.
Tom has reached most milestones when he is expected to. His first smile, first tooth and first steps. He was a late-ish roller and crawler but he got there in the end.
Now we are on the edge of concern. We aren’t overly worried. It’s not time to be yet. But it seems there is one milestone he will not be reaching at the expected time – talking. And with a family history and a possibility of some minor surgery it’s definitely something we need to be aware of.
Now had I refused to ‘compare’ or even just notice that other children were well on their way to talking by his age, how on Earth would I have known that something might possibly be amiss?
It might be nothing. It could be something. But he is my one. My only. I have a duty of care to make sure I stop and take notice. We are getting help now to find out more. It’s not because I’m OTT and it’s not because I’m forcing his development. It’s because I noticed and I went with my gut and because I believe if I can help him, then I want to, and I will, as soon as I can.
I want to celebrate every time he hits a milestone – no matter when it happens, but I also want to be there to nurture him as he jumps on the stepping stones to take him there. And if he can’t seem to jump to one, then I want to be there to gently guide him.
Q: Do you compare your child/children to others? Do you use it as a guide for your own child’s development? Why or why not?