Development can be a sensitive subject. Some parents (I think moms in particular) measure their success as a parent in terms of how their child is developing. So I tend to cringe any time I hear questions asked about development (ex: are they walking yet or why aren’t they walking yet). The thing about development is that while you can certainly help with your child’s development, at the end of the day, they develop at their own pace.
Having a micro preemie, one of the things I heard a lot was that I should expect him to be behind developmentally, but that he would likely catch up. Now that my son is two, I see what they meant. However, because I don’t have other children, I don’t necessarily think of it as him catching up, rather, it’s just his own pace of development.
However, now that he has accomplished so many developmental milestones, I find myself somewhat anxious about him continuing to move forward. Prime example: we are trying to get him to point things out to us, and he just doesn’t right now. It seems like something so easy, and I think because I know he knows what certain things are, I feel like he should be doing it. But alas, he’s not. This is when I have to remind myself that it’s at his own pace.
The outside world already places enough pressure on our children and is ready to quickly define them based on a number of things. We as parents are their safe space. It can be tough to walk the fine line between pushing them to develop, and pressuring them to develop. In the end, I think we all want the same thing for our kid(s), which is for them to be healthy and develop to the best of their abilities. We also tend to be on high alert for signs that they may need a little extra help developing in certain areas. For example, my son sees both a physical therapist and speech therapist, which is a huge part of why he’s come so far after a 191-day hospital stay.
Do you also struggle with this? I would imagine it’s likely something that moms of full-term babies probably deal with as well. I would love to hear your stories about how you manage the art of not adding additional pressure to your child because you are ready for them to move forward in their development, so please feel free to share. We are all in this together! 💜
**Update: When I originally started drafting this last week, Emerson would not point at anything… now he’s pointing to his nose! 😊
2 thoughts on “At Their Own Pace”
First, can I say how amazing I think you are!? Thank you for your vulnerability and just being you. Yes, I also struggle with this. I have a 6th grader who reads at a 3rd/4th grade reading level due to a learning disability. Parents measure their kids success based off how advanced their kids are and it feels like you’re competing sometimes. Also it feels like people look at your kid as less than because they are behind. Something we are learning is celebrating her strengths and reinforcing her weaknesses. She knows she struggles and tries to hide it within her friend group at school. I advocate and fight for her like crazy to be able to express her strengths because her weaknesses tend to overshadow how amazing she is. Although our situations are different they are so very similar and I must say, we have some pretty amazing kiddos! You’re an amazing mom and wife! And I think you are doing a fantabulous job! ❤️
Thank you so much! You are too sweet. I really appreciate you sharing your perspective on this, and glad to see I’m not alone. I love the idea of celebrating her wins. I try to do that with Em even at his young age. You are definitely doing the right thing by advocating for her to express her strengths. She is super blessed to have a strong mama like you!
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