Give me some colour!! Don't take yourself too seriously - Children's Tables and Chairs.
An idea for the school holidays - Design your own tee with My Monster.

Notes to a Montessori Parent - Follow your child, and why comparing children isn't helpful.

Baby five months at How we Montessori

I remember when Otis was four, there was a young boy in his class learning long division. Wow, just wow! Every time I saw the boy I tried to take a peek over his shoulder to see what he was working on. The accomplishments of this young boy should be celebrated, just as the accomplishments of the other children in the class. His achievements do not lessen the achievements of the other children. 

It doesn't always work like that though does it? I remember being a first-time parent going to our Mother's Group. All of the other babies sat, waved, clapped, crawled, and walked before Caspar. At one birthday party, all of the other children were walking around, except for my child who just sat there. I felt so insecure like I was doing something wrong, thinking that my child was a slow learner, that perhaps we hadn't done enough to support him at home. 

We all want the best for our children but over time I've learnt that comparing our children is not helpful, it can be potentially harmful, we need to respect each child for where they are at and to meet them right there.

Now I am becoming more active with Otto (six months old) I see the comparisons coming thick and fast. It's natural to make small talk with strangers, aquaintances, other parents and even to discuss these things with friends. "How old is your baby?" "Are they rolling/crawling/sitting/walking yet?". Or to see other children online and to think "should my child be doing that too?". The answer is no, no, no. Just because another child is ready to use the moveable alphabet, use scissors or to start using the potty, does not mean that your child is ready to and it could be harmful to them if you think like this. 

Here are a few things that I try to remember when I catch myself making comparisons:

  • We need to respect the child's individual timeline, respect the child's individual developmental needs.
  • Every child learns at their own pace. 
  • Remember that your child is not you and that siblings may be very different too. Just because one child was reading at three the next may not be, and that is ok. 
  • Don't rush the child, they will do it when they are ready and not before. Rushing or forcing it isn't helpful. 
  • We need to have realistic expectations. Unrealistic expectations put pressure on yourself (the parent) and the child and will often lead to frustration and disappointment.
  • Try to live in the moment, appreciate where your child is at right now.
  • We can look ahead to the next step, the next milestone to prepare the environment, have materials and knowledge ready but wait until the right time to present it.  
  • Be aware of age recommendations, they are important but are a guide only, just because the egg and cup are recommended from six months, your child may not be ready for it until they are nine or ten months.
  • By presenting materials the child is not ready for we are not only not meeting their current developmental needs, we are sending them a harmful message that you are not good enough and we need or expect more from you. 
  • Celebrate milestones and achievements of your child and that of children around you. Children and parents are often proud of their achievements such as when the child first walks or reads their first chapter book. 
  • Distance yourself from or keep your thoughts in check if you have particularly competitive friends, there are some people who can make parenting feel like a competition, this isn't helpful or healthy. 

Articles on this site are categorized by my children's ages, however, this is to keep them in some type of order and context, the aim is to be helpful as a guide not as a benchmark, even children within the same family develop at different rates. 

I love to talk to other parents about childhood development however it is important to get professional advice if you are concerned about your child's development or developmental delays.

comments powered by Disqus