As parents, we have enough stress without adding the pressures of having the “more advanced” child. I am sure we all have experienced going to a family event or onto social media, seeing another child and instantly start making comparisons. Personally, I feel like our family started creating these unrealistic expectations from the day we told them I was pregnant. I was being judged for everything I did, or didn’t do. After she was born I realized, our children’s skills, or lack thereof, determine how we are perceived as parents. They aren’t even in sports yet and the competition is ridiculous. We are already setting them up to see their own family as the opponent instead of teaching them to be a team. Growing up, I was constantly compared to my older cousins. Ultimately, it created jealousy and division between us, yet we all would probably deny it. Until this day, I find myself comparing my accomplishments with their own. It’s terrible. As much as I know it’s wrong, I have to admit I am guilty of comparing my child to others.
- I saw a snap of your son going from his hands and knees to sitting up and decided Alani wasn’t getting enough tummy time.
- I heard your daughter goes to sleep at 8pm every night on her own, and instantly felt defensive about Alani co-sleeping and normally going to bed at 11pm.
- I chose “baby led weaning” instead of purees for Alani, and I enjoy hearing compliments about how well she eats solids on her own compared to your child.
- I chose “baby led weaning” and I constantly have to defend my choice, because she made homemade, organic purees for her child and sometimes I let Alani have fries.
- I saw a picture of your daughter at the library and I decided I need to read to Alani more often.
- I constantly buy Alani different types toys to assist in the development of motor skills because you were a teacher and your child follows a schedule where you work on these skills with her.
- You take your daughter to different types of classes, and so I looked up classes in my area.
- Seeing my daughter demonstrate skills faster than some other children gives me relief.
We as parents need to stop allowing others constantly add to the pressure of parenting. We need to make an effort to quit the cycle of comparisons with our children. We need to realize that all children develop at different paces. As long as our children are healthy, we need to be happy and accept that our children are in control. Be proud of your children, but don’t feel less of yourself as a parent because your child isn’t hitting milestones at the same time as another child has. We are all doing the best we can.