Whether you have one kid or three, the comparison game will undoubtedly hit you at some point. It’s incredibly hard not to compare your child to other kids, especially between your own children.
I have three young kids (5, 3, and 1), so it’s impossible not to compare what each was doing at similar ages. One kid walked at 11 months, while another waited until after a year old.
One climbed couches and chairs and tables way too young, while another cautiously thought through every step.
Another was talking in full sentences at two, while one sat perfectly silent for the first year and a half.
I think comparisons genuinely come from parents wanting to ensure they’re doing enough. As a mom, I think I question myself every…single…day.
Am I doing enough?
Do I read to them enough?
Was I too tough?
Am I raising kind humans?
Should my child be talking more?
(If you don’t question most things you do as a parent, you should be writing a book for the rest of us!)
Every child learns different skills in different ways at different rates. No way is the right way. Most developmental milestones can be met within a wide timeframe, but this doesn’t stop us from seeing another child walking or talking before ours and wondering if our child is falling behind.
As my children get older, though, I am recognizing that each of them has unique interests and learning styles. The real fun now is finding their strengths and interests and discovering the world with them.
My oldest son loves art and has a creative soul. He was never interested in flashcards or books about colors and letters but give him a piece of paper and art supplies and his mind would soar with ideas and questions.
My other son loves all pretend play. He loves to leaf blow or vacuum alongside my husband or cook with me in the kitchen, and I find he learns best in those situations.
Someday it won’t matter who talked or walked first. Honestly, I probably won’t even remember. I already put enough pressure on myself as a parent, and I’m guessing you do too.
So, take a breath.
No seriously. Stop right now. Take a breath.
Release the tension you’re holding about your child meeting certain milestones or standards, and embrace your child as the unique individual they were created to be.