Comparing Milestones

babyI will never forget the day my daughter was born. The first words that popped out of my mouth were, “She is perfect!” I didn’t start looking for flaws. I didn’t immediately compare her to other newborns.   I didn’t wonder if anything was wrong with her. I just knew that she was perfect.

Unfortunately it didn’t take long for me to start the infamous game of comparing children.. My  daughter has a cousin who is three months older. It was easy to compare how they achieved their milestones. If my niece had smiled at two months of age shouldn’t my daughter? If my niece could roll over at 4 months why couldn’t my daughter?   Was something wrong?  I even began googling each milestone my daughter should have reached at various ages.  I wanted to know what I could do to speed up her development.

It is easy to compare our children to their peers but every child is different.  Although children with significant delays need intervention, we need to stop pushing perfection.  Many of these developmental milestones have broad ranges of when they normally occur.   We need to stop focusing on pushing our children too much as long as they are in the range of normal.  Instead we should appreciate how wonderful they are at each stage of their lives.  Lauren Drobnjak, a pediatric physical therapist explained:, “ kids are all wired to develop at their own pace.” As I foster an environment of love and growth, my baby will develop at the pace that is right and comfortable for her.  So too, can each of your children.

 

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