Thursday, January 27, 2011

Measuring Stick

Why is it as mother's we feel the need to compare our children to each other? Is it really a huge accomplishment if your infant rolls over before "the norm"? Will it really affect a child's future accomplishments if their first word is uttered at an early age, or if the first steps are taken before the child next door? When your baby grows up and goes for a job interview and they are asked to describe the characteristics which will make them a good fit, will they answer "because I walked at nine months and have been excelling ever since"?

Barring learning problems or medical issues (Gabe's speech delay, or Puck's weight gain) isn't the "quantifiable" measurements of our children kinda useless? After having three kids, which have all hit their "milestones" at different times, I can assure is.

I just find it ridiculous that our generation has been inundated with "learning products", and "flash cards", "percentiles", and "milestones". Kids don't develop at the same pace, not really, and trying to squeeze them all into a little box seems ludicrous. Don't get me wrong I'm not innocent when it comes to the comparisons I made either as a young mother, but the more children you have the more you realize...milestones are hit when your child is ready to hit them and they will be just as exciting hit late as they are if hit early.

So are set milestones ever useful? Can the box the experts put our children in ever be helpful? Of course. They helped to determine Gabe was behind in speech and labelled Puck as failure to thrive which proved he was in heart failure; but most parents don't use the milestone data as a means of ensuring their own children are healthy and thriving and to seek help when an issue or problem develops; but instead many parents use it as a measuring stick against other people's kids or even to push their children to be better, do better, compete, compete, compete.

If someone were to ask me to describe my children I would say..

Gabriel is my oldest child and the most empathetic two year old you will ever have the pleasure of meeting. He takes his roll as big brother very seriously and you can find him hugging, kissing and chatting with his siblings at various times throughout the day. He has always been a kid who wore his heart on his sleeve and I know he always will. He's sensitive and caring and always quick to laugh or to cry depending on the situation. He loves a person with his whole being and doesn't hold back. I know he will be a great man as he is a wonderful child.

Eden is my middle child and forever the trouble maker. She pushes her boundaries and is always testing the people around her. Her personality is huge and you won't find another kid with a more genuine laugh. She always wakes with a smile and always looks forward to the day. And she's a tomboy through and through. If she had the choice to play dolls or make mud pies she would choose the mud every time. Her favourite person is her brother and I hope Gabe and Edie will always have the close friendship they have nurtured since the day she was born. Eden is as beautiful as her name would suggest and I know she will always remain so.

And finally Preston. My baby. The kid who has had to fight just to remain healthy is the sweetest little infant this world has had the pleasure of knowing. He's laid back and so calm. He has a patience for life already that astounds me. He sleeps through the crazy noise that is the very nature of our house and doesn't mind being cuddled a little too hard by his older siblings. He's just as content to hang out in his bouncy chair as he is sleeping beside me. He's a cute little boy and will be just as wonderful and beautiful as his siblings.

These are my children and wouldn't you say similar things about yours?

Measurements aren't who your children are. So relax, enjoy, and remind yourself "it's about the moments...not the milestones".

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

very well put Carrie