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Friends with kids the same age, hitting milestones at different times

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I have a friend with twins about the same age as ds2. We've not been friends long. My ds is quite ahead of the curve with gross motor skills. Her boys are slightly behind average, I believe. Add in differences in attitude (my ds is go, go, go, and hers are more laid back), and differences in appearance (ds is tall and skinny, with a slightly smaller than average head, so looks like a toddler, whereas hers still have baby fat and are average proportions), and they seem to be VERY different ages.

She doesn't seem to be concerned at all, nor does she seem to compare her boys to ds. But I'm still worried about her feeling...I don't know. I just really like her, and I don't want it to become an issue. I try not to talk much about it, but occasionally I'll mention his latest drive-me-crazy antics, and it occurrs to me later that her boys are nowhere near doing it.

Otoh, It seems like she's *really* glad that her boys are laid back and calm (they are the youngest of 4 boys). So maybe she's happy that it is how it is. Truth be told, I'd be happy if ds were a bit more laid back, and slightly less mobile! I've told her as much. If you spent some time around him, you'd know that's not just lip service.

I think my issue comes in that our society seems to be so competitive, and seems to value hitting milestones as early as possible (let me tell ya, it's highly overrated ). I've never been like that, and she doesn't seem like that, either. But I have other friends who would definitely compare kids and get their feelings hurt over it. I really don't want that happening with this friend.

If you've been in a similar situation, or in the reverse, what was your experience? Any advice for me?
post #2 of 18
My hubby's siter and her hubby have a DD a couple of months younger than my DD (2 next month). Although they are close in age a bystander would think that my DD is a year older. My DD has wanted to grow up from the moment she came out of the womb and just picks up on things really quickly. And her cousin is really laid back and likes to take a wait and see approach. So while my DD was walking at around 9 months old her cousin didn't walk until 14 or 15 months. My DD talks in complete sentences, well paragraphs lately, while her cousin has about 5 words, 2 of which she uses consistently. My SIL doesn't seem bothered but it makes me feel weird sometimes, especially b/c MIL likes to talk about how advanced my DD is and says its because I had a natural, med free childbirth. My SIL was induced and determined to have an epi, which she did (which is fine, its her body, her choice). However MIL frequently discusses my natural childbirth and how amazing it was b/c DD was so big (almost 11 lbs) and cites it as a reason for my DD's development in FRONT OF MY SIL, her own daughter. I feel so bad, but don't really know what to say. Usually I just talk about how important it is for women to be able to make their own choices about birth and be supported. I also talk alot about how children develop at different rates and generally even out over time. My SIL doesn't seem bothered by the whole thing-this is her 3rd, and like your friend she seems to appreciate her DD's laid back take on life. B/c it is HARD when they do everything so early.
post #3 of 18
I think it is pretty common place to compare children - at least a little. And to a certain extent I don't think it is a bad thing. How else do you know if your child truly is very behind? How else to judge when maybe you need to seek help for your child?

I try really hard not to get into the game though. I make a conscientious effort to comment on how wonderful the other children are (let's face it we all think our own child is fabulous!).

As for how to make the others not feel bad or compare when my child is ahead I'm not 100% sure. I'm pling ds right now & when I mentioned it to a friend she responded with " I need to do that right away too ". I'm pling ds fairly young but he seems to be ready & I'm sahm with no other children so I have lots of time to dedicate to it. I NEVER meant to imply to my friend (who JUST had another baby) that she needed to start pling but it seems that how she took it. Sigh.
post #4 of 18
This is why I've been glad that my friends and I have kids spread out over different ages. Too much weirdness. My best friend has a DD who is six months older than DS, which up until recently was a big age gap, but it's closing fast now that they're older. I hope things don't get awkward, you know?
post #5 of 18
my friend and i have babes 3 weeks apart. i think maaaayyyybe at the very beginning we were a little competative and it bothered both of us just a tad if one of us was off but at a year now, i'd be more than happy if her kid walked before mine or whatever and vice versa.
i think you really calm down about these things over time and if it's her 4th kid then i'd bet that she could care less. (my SIL has 5 and anything i get even slightly overexcited or overvigilant about she kinda rolls her eyes and utters a "first kid....")
post #6 of 18
When DD was an infant she would not roll over. She actually never did. We would lay her on the floor and she would not even move.

Meanwhile, two other babes we knew, a nephew and my cousin's son were rolling over and getting into things and just squirmy.

I don't remember being that upset about. We definately took note of it. I know I felt genuinly happy and excited for these babies' accomplisments.

Then DD never laughed. She laughed once at 6 months, but then not that much until she was about 9 months. All the other babies we me would belly laugh so cute, and she would just study.

When DD unexpectedly sat unnasissted at 4 months. We just figured that was late, too. We were quite surprised to find the other babes not sitting by themselves yet. But, the boys were army crawling all over the place by then. DD was just sitting.

Just shy of 7 months, DD started to crawl. She went from not crawling to a picture perfect crawl. I figured the boys had already started this, but it turned out they hadn't.

The same thing happened with walking and talking. I remember thinking that it was so cool that DN said 'tractor'. DD had a very standard few dozen words at the time, but that word seemed so difficult. Fast-forward a few months. 'Tractor' was still DN's only word, and DD was starting to speak in sentences, and was recognizing colors, ABCs, shapes, etc.

I also remember when the babies were about 17 months old, my cousin proclaimed that her son was potty-trained. I was astonished. I was going to wait till 2.5. Well, DD had other plans and by the time they turned 2, my DD was completely potty-trained day and night, and my cousin was still trying to catch pees and poohs.

So, I have been on both sides.

I think as long as you love the babies for who they are, comparing them is fine. Every child is different, Every child develops at a different rate (as my DD's story shows.) If you keep that in mind, and speak from your heart, you should not have a problem. I also like to remind myself that nothing they do now has any bearing on their future, but it does have everything to do with them now. So, it is ok to brag on your kids and be happy for them. And, you shouldn't have to hide that from others.
post #7 of 18
The main thing I've ever worried about comparing DS is on speech. There's such a wide range of "normal" at this age. I wouldn't go out of my way to point it out. If she brings it up, I'd say exactly that: "There's a wide range of normal at this age."
post #8 of 18
I have the same problem with my neighbors granddaughter. She is 1 month older and DS has been about a month and half ahead of her on everything. He's just really ahead, she is ahead/ on time as well, just not as ahead as DS and it hurts me when her mom looks upset when I mention DS is also doing something (she asks)

most recent DS has started walking (and i mean actually getting places by himself like the next room) He 'started' at 10 months and is really good at 11 month almost to the days. She apparently just started at 12 months. But that is so normal My niece didn't walk until 15 months.

its hard because you don't want to make others feel bad, but it really isn't anything you or they are doing wrong. I think in your case it sounds like your friend is ok and pushing are you ok may make things worse...in mine, well I just don't see neighbor too often and try to be very friendly when I do.
post #9 of 18
It sounds like this is an issue for you but not for her. I think you should just relax and be friends and if some issue does arise than just deal with it then.

A personal anecdote: I lost a friend because she was the type to compare (and I am not). She was so paranoid about comparisons, worrying about developmental milestones and feeling bad for other parents and kids who may not have been on the same time-line, that she isolated herself from others. Ultimately she was the one who had the need to compare but projected her issues onto others and it became a self-fulfilling prophesy of isolation.
post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks all. I feel a lot more at ease about it

Quote:
Originally Posted by tzs View Post
i think you really calm down about these things over time and if it's her 4th kid then i'd bet that she could care less. (my SIL has 5 and anything i get even slightly overexcited or overvigilant about she kinda rolls her eyes and utters a "first kid....")
I'm sure that's true for her. And I'm sure she's comfortable with the fact that, in the end, it all evens out, and that all kids have different strengths.
Her oldest ds is WAY more adventurous than my ds- he can effortlessly climb things that my ds can't get 1/2 of the way up (if he'll even try at all)!
post #11 of 18
I do my best not to compare. Among my close circle of friends, there are four toddlers who were born within 4 months of each other. My daughter walked at 10 months, my friend's son walked at 11, my friend's daughter walked at 14 months, and the other friend's son walked at 17 months. The latter two are VERY laid back kids, they like to observe more than do, but are completely normal/average/typical. My daughter and my friend's son are the go go go kind of kids who just want to see and do everything.

And I've figured out that unless there are developmental delays or significant speech issues, etc., by the time the kids go to school, no one knows or cares who walked when or talked when or any of it, and it has no bearing on well, anything really.
post #12 of 18
if she has a bunch of kids already... i bet she doesn't even care. it's probably not even an issue. and if she does get weird about your kid being developmentally ahead, then well... that's her issue. i wouldn't sweat it.

to be honest, i think it's kind of neurotic to get all worked up about small developmental differences among kids of the same age (as long as they're not scary-big differences). i have enough of my own neuroses to deal with, so i choose not to partake in those of others generally
post #13 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by NYMommy2007 View Post
It sounds like this is an issue for you but not for her. I think you should just relax and be friends and if some issue does arise than just deal with it then.
I missed this the first time. That's my plan! I'm now more confident that she doesn't think anything of it.
post #14 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by dividedsky View Post
if she has a bunch of kids already... i bet she doesn't even care. it's probably not even an issue. and if she does get weird about your kid being developmentally ahead, then well... that's her issue. i wouldn't sweat it.
post #15 of 18
It doesn't sound like she cares, or is even comparing. Based on your post, you are. I would let it go on your end since it seems to be a non-issue!
post #16 of 18
I wanted to give my perspective as a mother of a developmentally delayed child. My daughter has muscle tone issues, ideopathic developmental delays, and is visually impaired. Needless to say, she's a bit behind her peers! I have a lot of friends with children her age, so I am constantly seeing these children do things my daughter can't. It really doesn't bother me. Well, not much.
I don't expect my daughter to be doing everything her peers can do. Some of her little friends are so advanced, it's really amazing, but I am nothing but happy for them. I think it's great that they have things figured out, and I certainly don't want anyone to feel bad about it.

I don't know your friend's situation, but I bet she really doesn't care, and knows her kids will catch up eventually. Don't worry about it!
post #17 of 18
If these are the youngest of her 4 kids, I assume that a) she's BTDT and doesn't worry as much in general and b) has come to expect which milestones may come later based on her other kids.

For example, both of my kids have hit things pretty close to average. However, because Amelia was a bit later walking and potty training, I just assumed that Zaven would be too (and so far he has been )....And I sort of assume that #3 will be too. I remember people trying to give me the reassuring "all kids develop at their own pace" speech when Zaven wasn't walking at 13 months old. While I HAD worried a bit with Amelia, I didn't even think twice about Zaven.

I think, if anything, she may pick up on you being self-concious and be bothered by that.
post #18 of 18
Honestly, as a mother of 4, I don't really care about who does what when. Your friend probably doesn't, either.

At this point, you know that if they aren't doing it now, they'll be running, screaming, laughing, etc. by 3 years-old. It isn't like you have the same anxiety over little Johnny doing XYZ before little Paul that some parents experience with their first.
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