Do you obsess about milestones and when your child should be doing something?
As a mom of two teens, I’d like to offer this advice to moms of littles. Stop. Stop worrying. Don’t compare your own child’s “firsts” to your friends’ children. Don’t obsess over books that suggest when your child should roll over, sit up unassisted, walk, or talk. Don’t be concerned if your child is in the 99th percentile or the 5th percentile in height. My daughters are twins, so it was exceptionally hard for me not to compare them and not to worry that one was doing something before the other. Looking back I wish I hadn’t wasted my energy.
One of my daughters cut her first tooth at three months. No one believed me when I said she was teething. The same child didn’t walk until she was 13 months old. Or read until the end of first grade. While my girls have alternated “firsts, I’ve come to realize that it really does not matter.
Your children will eventually be potty trained, will one day give up bottles and pacifiers, will begin sleeping through the night, will eat more than mac ’n cheese, chicken nuggets, and goldfish, will talk, will walk, will learn to read, will brush their teeth — all in good time and when they are ready.
Developmental worries aren’t just for baby moms. I’m trying hard to take my own advice with my middle school girls, curbing my worries about their social and academic development. Will they find their passion? Will they make good friends? Will they use good judgment? Will they ever pick up wet towels and put dirty clothes in the hamper?
Even recently I wondered WHEN my daughters would FINALLY WILLINGLY take a shower without me asking, begging, yelling, bribing, and physically overpowering them and putting them in the shower. Do you know how old they were when they finally hit this milestone? Eleven. And thirteen. Let me tell you, there were many days that I thought it would never happen.
So if I could leave you with one final piece of advice, please please please don’t believe what you see on social media. I remember hearing about my friends children who were “reading” at three while my girls were busy chewing on board books. Aside from the occasional actual prodigy, your friends are well-intentioned delusional liars.
Each child is different. Celebrate your child’s gifts and ignore books and articles putting timelines on development.