Tired of comparisons. I like my son the way he is. - Mothering Forums
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Life with a Toddler > Tired of comparisons. I like my son the way he is.
alittlesandy's Avatar alittlesandy 11:22 PM 12-08-2010

My son is 22 months. I used to used to subscribe to a child-development newsletter that came weekly. I loved reading it every week, until my son was about eighteen-months-old. Then I couldn't take it anymore. Same thing with several mommy blogs I used to read. I have several blogging friends who had similar due dates, and we went through pregnancy and infanthood together. Now I can't look at their blogs. Finally, I have three friends who have kids that were born within weeks of my son, and I don't want to see them anymore.

I just hate feeling like my son is not “normal.”

 

All of the kids I hear about who are his age are talking, reciting the alphabet, drinking from open cups, going up and down stairs by themselves, sleeping in their own beds instead of cribs, and starting potty training.

My son is the love of my life. As far as I’m concerned, he is perfect in every way. He does not talk at all, but is very “verbal” and has a high language comprehension (he can follow very specific directions). He has been evaluated by early intervention and a speech therapist and does not have enough of a delay to qualify for intervention. In other words, the experts say he’s normal.

 

He cannot drink from an open cup at all. He spills water everywhere. I have finally gotten him to drink from a straw cup with a lid, but he prefers his sippy. Also, when I weaned him from the breast at eighteen months because we were ttc and I wasn’t ovulating, I started giving him bottle of milk or water at bedtime. He is very attached to it, gets very happy and joyous when I give it to him, and I don’t feel like taking it away right now. He loves his crib and his blankie as well, and to be honest, it never occurred to me to start potty training this early. I always thought that happened around three or so, but now it seems that everyone thinks it should happen by the age of two. Is this just a reversal of trend? Or am I hanging out with the wrong people?

 

I don’t really need to be reassured that my son is “normal.” My motherly instinct says this is so and my pediatrician agrees. Also, I should point out that nobody is making comparisons except me, but it makes me feel self-conscious, because I imagine that people are thinking it even if they don’t say it.

 

I guess I’m hoping to hear stories from people who are going through the same thing.



akind1's Avatar akind1 05:00 AM 12-09-2010

hugs mama!

 

first thing, don't shun your mommy friends with kiddos the same age, it is good for your LO to be around them, and I bet he will pick up some skills faster because of it. DS is only 12 months and he LOVES being around older kids with more advanced skills. If only I could give him an older sibling . . .

 

As for potty-training: when I was growing up and helping my parents' friends raise their kids (I babysat alot beginning age 11) 2 was the "norm" for potty training. It is only the last 10 years or so I have noticed more kids aren't potty trained (or potty learned) until age 3+. Most of my friends look for signs of ready-ness. Alot of them do introduce the potty somewhere between 18 months and 2. This isn't to say they are done potty training by two, but they start getting the ball rolling at that point.

 

as far as the open cups, there are a couple brands that do a staged cup system, you could work on that. All kids do things at their own pace, alot of it is just giving them the opportunity to learn the skills. I know some mamas have kids practice using an open cup in the bath. I don't b/c as it is, DS tries to drink the bathwater.

 

Hang in there, and I know it is tough being around his agemates that seem more advanced, but it does give you something to look forward to (I can't wait when he does this!) or dread - I am so glad he can't/doesn't do this yet!, and gives him some social time where he can be learning too.


crunchy_mommy's Avatar crunchy_mommy 07:26 AM 12-09-2010

Quote:
Originally Posted by alittlesandy View Post

 it never occurred to me to start potty training this early.


I think this is at the crux of it all. It's all about what the parent exposes the kid to/teaches them (and I don't say that in a way meaning you've slacked or something, because you most definitely haven't!!!) Everyone has different priorities & different ways of parenting. My son didn't start clapping until I saw a baby 6 months younger than him doing it, and decided to introduce the concept to him. We were never the type to clap when he did something (and maybe that was wrong? I don't know, but it just never occurred to us) so there was no way he could have learned it. Who knows, he may STILL not be clapping now at 22mos if I hadn't panicked after seeing the other kid clapping (and don't do that... don't panic, don't compare, it's not worth it!!!) On the other hand, my son was using an open cup around 7 months old because we didn't want to do sippy cups so he never got introduced to them. Same with things like counting or the alphabet -- it's possible many of those kids are watching an 'educational' DVD every day or playing with electronic alphabet toys or in our case, listening to an alphabet song on youtube because Mommy has no clue what song to play & randomly chose one that he got attached to! Am I making sense? It's not something you did wrong or an indication of whether your DS is 'normal' -- it's simply what he was exposed to repeatedly or got really excited about.

 

My DS is still cosleeping & still nurses 10+ times a day. I'm sure with effort I could help him sleep in his own bed or stop nursing... or learn to sight-read or identify all the presidents etc. -- but I just don't want to, see no need to, place no value in it, or whatever... I suppose if he developed a big fascination with dinosaurs I would get lots of books and teach him all the different kinds but that hasn't happened so he, sadly, knows nothing about dinosaurs (I'm being silly here, I hope you get my point though!!)


Everrgreen's Avatar Everrgreen 07:40 AM 12-09-2010

My son is 22 months as well and I get that same feeling.  There is nothing wrong with my son, he is healthy and perfect, and yet there are a lot of things other 22 month olds seem to be doing that he doesn't.  He is just now starting to say some words, he is not at all interested in doing pees and poops on the potty, he still cosleeps and nurses through the night (although I would like to nightwean).  I do think a lot of it has to do with not being verbal, for example we saw a little girl at the library who was 20 months and could answer questions like 'what's your name' 'when's your birthday' and she could sing the abc song (!!!)  BUT, it's hard to compare with my son, of course he can't say his name - he can't say lots of things!  It doesn't mean he doesn't know it.  And the abc song, well that's just been taught through repititon and I don't ever sing that song (and again, he would need to talk to say the alphabet!)  So I try not to worry.  I'm proud of him and I think he's awesome :)

 

... well except at the moment he's chasing the cat and screaming at it :/

 

Anyway, that's just my personal vent about the same issue you are having!  You're not alone!  And our babies are perfect :love


Skippy918's Avatar Skippy918 12:16 PM 12-09-2010

My son's 27 months and he's not even close to starting potty training yet.  I'm waiting until he's ready which will probably be closer to 3.  At 22 months, he was just starting to say some new words, but I really wasn't worried about it.  Open cup drinking just started over the summer.  Before that, he would just pour out the contents.  Just give it time.  He's still really young. 


tzs's Avatar tzs 08:13 PM 12-09-2010

yeah, you're just hanging out with the wrong people ;) 

no really though, it does just depend on where people's priorities lie for most of these things. i mean really, these are mostly things that are "taught" rather than developmental. like a pp said, i also never considered clapping something i should work on with my kid...until i saw it being mentioned as something other kids could do. i mean....i don;t walk around clapping so where is she going to learn this. same with waving....or that "so big" thing that i don't understand. now dd is in "school" half-days while i work there and at 15 months she is counting. first it was to "3" now today it went up to something sounding like 7. ok....the kid doesn't really even talk yet. it's totally rote and something i would have never done with her.

 

open cup is also something that is learned. it's not some magical child development skill. i also skipped the sippy cup and started open cup at 6 months. so by 10 months or so she could drink on her own. it's not that she's some sort of cup protegy....it's just something we worked on because i didn't want to have to deal with teaching her to drink from a sippy and then an open cup. on the other hand SIL loves giving my niece who is 24 months the sippy. it's just that her priorities are different. she spent alot of time teaching her signing. i could care less about doing it with my kid. just different priorities.

 

with the kids i work with who are from 20-24 months or so...there's such a variety and it's pretty obvious which kids are doing things on their own, which kids are flashcard-at-home kids, and which might have a little of both. they're all great kids in their own way. just because one can repeat "brown bear brown bear" by heart....it doesn't impress me at all. it's the things they do on their own, those little moments of discovery, that impress me and excite me.

 

as for the potty training i'm trying to get my head around the trends as well. i want to start early and slowly and i know alot of people here on MDC do that as well. it's just one way of doing it. in my circle of real-life people most kids i know start around three so it's the opposite of your situation. the idea of starting before 3 is just non-existant here for some reason. it's to the point that where one woman i know DOES train early...it's something to gossip about and look down on. lame huh?


MusicianDad's Avatar MusicianDad 08:21 PM 12-09-2010

Always remember too, there is a certain percentage of parents who will say their child does these things just to keep up with what is expected. Chances are at least one parent is exaggerating or out right lying because they feel the same way you do. I've experienced with both DD and DS, people telling me their child is doing something they aren't because they seem to think my kids are normal. Most of the things you listed don't even have a "normal" age, it all depends on the kids and what their parents decide to teach/allow/force. We don't force DS to sleep in his own bed, so he doesn't. Ever. Sometimes he will sleep in DD's bed, but the rest of the time DH and I are the ones who get to deal with toddler kicks in the middle of the night.


dalia's Avatar dalia 08:29 PM 12-09-2010
Your son is perfect. In this country we are in such a hurry. We think by two children should be reading, writing and doing arithmetic. I think this is unfair. Children are not a way for us to show off or compete with each other. The childhood years are sacred and should be respected IMO.

I wouldn't keep him from other children his age as this may send a message that you actually are afraid something is wrong. Take him everywhere with your head held high! Besides, it seems that the timeline for cchildren's milestones has more to do with personality than with smarts. They are like flowers and bloom when they are good and ready!
GreenGranolaMama's Avatar GreenGranolaMama 09:03 PM 12-09-2010


Quote:
Originally Posted by dalia View Post

Your son is perfect. In this country we are in such a hurry. We think by two children should be reading, writing and doing arithmetic. I think this is unfair. Children are not a way for us to show off or compete with each other. The childhood years are sacred and should be respected IMO.

I wouldn't keep him from other children his age as this may send a message that you actually are afraid something is wrong. Take him everywhere with your head held high! Besides, it seems that the timeline for cchildren's milestones has more to do with personality than with smarts. They are like flowers and bloom when they are good and ready!


I completely agree 

 

I do hear you on the whole avoiding conversation about 'milestones' and that sort of thing though- DS hit like 10 months and some of the things that other parents said their children were doing (although who *really* knows, especially online...) felt pretty far away from my sweet boy- removing myself (from online chat/comparisons that felt competitive in nature) helped me stop making comparisons. However, we do still go to IRL playgroups and that sort of thing. 


Marissamom's Avatar Marissamom 01:30 AM 12-10-2010

I agree that everything you listed has to do with what the kid is being taught and to some extent their temperament, except for talking, and talking has such a huge range on what and when are normal. DD learned to kick a ball about 6 months later than average because we never thought to show her that she can, all it took was showing her one time. she's going to be very late to ball throwing if I have anything to do with it, because I actively discourage throwing anything. DD can only drink from an open cup if someone else is holding it, because if I let her she just dumps it on herself, and I'd rather not deal with it, I know some on here are very anti-sippy, but I don't feel like it does that much harm, especially if it's water. and "starting potty training" doesn't tell you anything about how well it's going, or when the kid will be going accident free (or if the kid will have a regression later on). DD can do stairs, because we have a lot of them, but not walking, because her legs are too short. but if he hadn't moved into a place with a lot of stairs right after she turned one, I'm not sure she would know how to do them yet. I really see stairs as an environmental thing usually. and I bet there are areas in which your son is ahead of most kids. I would guess in areas that are harder to spot, like emotional and relational development. 


sapphire_chan's Avatar sapphire_chan 08:52 AM 12-10-2010


Quote:
Originally Posted by Marissamom View Postsome on here are very anti-sippy, but I don't feel like it does that much harm, especially if it's water.

I thought it was the jaw development that was the problem with sippies, not what goes into the sippies.


Marissamom's Avatar Marissamom 09:03 AM 12-10-2010


Quote:
Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by Marissamom View Postsome on here are very anti-sippy, but I don't feel like it does that much harm, especially if it's water.

I thought it was the jaw development that was the problem with sippies, not what goes into the sippies.


I hear teeth a lot more than jaw, and one of the major concerns with teeth and sippys is that sugary liquids pool in the mouth.


mckittre's Avatar mckittre 10:55 AM 12-10-2010

Don't feel so self-conscious.  Things like language are so variable anyway.  My son's the same age as yours, and he's very verbal, but his life would be so much poorer if he didn't get a chance to hang out with all his little friends who are less so.  And even if they're less easy to quantify in a "milestones" letter, all the little ones have their own interests and strengths, and all learn from eachother.  The moms with more than one kid are usually the most relaxed about all these things, since they've already seen how all this variability washes out in the end.  And things like the cups are really just an exposure thing.  My son's great at an open cup but still has zero clue what to do with a straw.  And he'd be still sleeping in our bed if I wasn't due with #2 in a week.


physmom's Avatar physmom 11:09 AM 12-10-2010

more coming... but I need to eit since this editor hates me!


I agree with PP's that many of those things are about exposure.  All parents have different priorities when it comes to parenting.  I know some that did baby signing with the explicit intention of having their child say please and thank you early on so they'd learn to be polite.  Others really focus on night-weaning and get their kids night-weaned at a younger age.  We did to early potty training simply because I was very, very sick of all the tantrums during diaper changes and what DH referred to as "dynamical diapering" (because she'd take off running the second I got a poopy diaper off of her BEFORE she was cleaned off!  She STILL does it but at least it's from the potty and not with a dirty diaper.


GardenStream's Avatar GardenStream 11:21 AM 12-10-2010

My DS2 is a normal, bright and happy kid.  He didn't say any words until he was 2yo, but he babbled all the time.  He didn't really start talking until a couple months ago so he was around 2 1/2.  We're still working on getting him to drink out of a cup. 

 

DS1 would talk and drank from a cup regularly by 20mo.  Different kids do things at different times, being a little ahead or behind on one specific thing isn't that big of a deal.


belltree's Avatar belltree 01:18 PM 12-10-2010

 

Originally Posted by dalia View Post

Your son is perfect. In this country we are in such a hurry. We think by two children should be reading, writing and doing arithmetic. I think this is unfair. Children are not a way for us to show off or compete with each other. The childhood years are sacred and should be respected IMO.

I wouldn't keep him from other children his age as this may send a message that you actually are afraid something is wrong. Take him everywhere with your head held high! Besides, it seems that the timeline for cchildren's milestones has more to do with personality than with smarts. They are like flowers and bloom when they are good and ready!



It scares me how little childhood is valued in this country. Kids in our neighbourhood are trained and I was astonished to learn that  a 4year old was considered behind and troubled, because he didn't know all his letters yet (but could recite all numbers). What is the point of spending months and months of pushing some random facts onto children? It made me feel so sad to realize how everyone is always pushing their children to learn more faster and earlier.

 

I cannot stand all those comparisons either. My son started walking very, very early. It is what he could do, but people kept asking us, what suggestions we had for them, so their children would walk early as well. I am just baffled by all this competition and pressure. On the other hand, people are concerned for my now 13month old, because he does not talk yet. We are asked if we read to him, we are told to talk more to him. But that's just who he is.

 

I have this great book by a Swiss Pediatritian (Largo), it is only available in German. But I love it. He did two longitudinal studies of a large cohort of Swiss children, recording their development in every area (mobility, language, communication, bonding, play etc) from birth to 4 years. The book always shows the whole range and did not only focuse on the first 30%. He also discusses, that sometimes it is necassary to help children along, and that children that get delayed because of illness, abuse etc usually can catch up. 

 

He also points out that once children hit school age, the range of what's normal in a class of 6year olds is enourmous. Some kids in some areas will be 2years advanced and others will be 2 years behind. With age the range of what's expected at one age just increases. And rarely are kids ahead in all areas, nor are they behind in all areas. Plus it varies over time. Kids don't learn linearly, they learn in phases and spurts.

 

Anyways, I could go on and on and on. What I've learned so far about parenting is to take my child as it is, to look at him, love him, to encourage him and take time to get to know this little human.


sapphire_chan's Avatar sapphire_chan 08:03 PM 12-10-2010


Quote:
Originally Posted by Marissamom View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by Marissamom View Postsome on here are very anti-sippy, but I don't feel like it does that much harm, especially if it's water.

I thought it was the jaw development that was the problem with sippies, not what goes into the sippies.


I hear teeth a lot more than jaw, and one of the major concerns with teeth and sippys is that sugary liquids pool in the mouth.

Except for taking sippies to bed, which would happen more with sippies than open cups (obviously smile.gif), sippies would have no more effect on caries than any other method of taking in liquid. Where sippies become a problem is that they end up being used as dummy breasts and the toddler with a sucking impulse sucks on the sippy all day and things get out of alignment. Some kids it doesn't matter, others end up needing speech therapy as a direct result of too much sippy time.


Ah, and it's not the jaw, sorry about that, it's the palate.

 

None of which matters for a kid who only drinks from sippies occasionally, of course.
 


physmom's Avatar physmom 04:51 AM 12-11-2010

Ok, I finally have a chance to get back to my reponse that I didn't finish before.  It's so annoying because I have to type this in gedit because I've giving up on writing anything on MDC! 

Anyways, I also wanted to mention that I really hope you don't give up on your friendships just because your kids are at different places.  It doesn't sound like your friends are purposely trying to make these comparisions between your kids (if they were my response would be totally different!) and you might loose out on some good friendships.  This actually reminded me of an incident with a friend of mine whose kid had some initial delays (he's completely caught up now after OT).  We had gone to visit that friend with DD and my friend's mother was there too (so the grandmother of this boy).  DD was an early walker and so the grandmother saw this and made a rather snide comment comparing to the two kids. :(  I felt so embarassed (and so bad for my friend whose son is absolutely delightful).  I would've been very sad to loose her friendship over something like that when it was neither of our faults but simply that one kid was walking early than the other.  Now that the kids are older he's "ahead" when it comes to sleeping through the night and weaning so it's not really a linear thing at all. 

Oh, and belltree, can you send me the name of that book? I'd love to read it!  I'd definitely believe that about elementary school which is just another reason I hate the way schools are currently set up but that's a rant for another day. ;)

Quote:
Originally Posted by belltree View Post

 



It scares me how little childhood is valued in this country. Kids in our neighbourhood are trained and I was astonished to learn that  a 4year old was considered behind and troubled, because he didn't know all his letters yet (but could recite all numbers). What is the point of spending months and months of pushing some random facts onto children? It made me feel so sad to realize how everyone is always pushing their children to learn more faster and earlier.

 

I cannot stand all those comparisons either. My son started walking very, very early. It is what he could do, but people kept asking us, what suggestions we had for them, so their children would walk early as well. I am just baffled by all this competition and pressure. On the other hand, people are concerned for my now 13month old, because he does not talk yet. We are asked if we read to him, we are told to talk more to him. But that's just who he is.

 

I have this great book by a Swiss Pediatritian (Largo), it is only available in German. But I love it. He did two longitudinal studies of a large cohort of Swiss children, recording their development in every area (mobility, language, communication, bonding, play etc) from birth to 4 years. The book always shows the whole range and did not only focuse on the first 30%. He also discusses, that sometimes it is necassary to help children along, and that children that get delayed because of illness, abuse etc usually can catch up. 

 

He also points out that once children hit school age, the range of what's normal in a class of 6year olds is enourmous. Some kids in some areas will be 2years advanced and others will be 2 years behind. With age the range of what's expected at one age just increases. And rarely are kids ahead in all areas, nor are they behind in all areas. Plus it varies over time. Kids don't learn linearly, they learn in phases and spurts.

 

Anyways, I could go on and on and on. What I've learned so far about parenting is to take my child as it is, to look at him, love him, to encourage him and take time to get to know this little human.


alittlesandy's Avatar alittlesandy 09:20 AM 12-11-2010

Thank you to everyone for the wonderful and supportive responses. However, there are two things that I think are a little more complicated than how they are being stated here. First of all, I honestly don't think it has much to do with priorities or exposure, and to be honest, I hate those words, because they seem to imply that it's something I'm doing. I think often times people take credit for behavior that has not been taught, but is simply born, or part of their child's personality. I will give you an example:

 

One of my mother friends doesn't believe in childproofing, gates, containment devices, or saying "no." I think that's lovely, but her son, who is the same as mine, never leaves her lap. And when he does he sits in the middle of the carpet and chews on something. She thinks he is so "well-behaved" because of the way she raised him, but I can tell you that he was that way from day one. My son, on the other hand, tried climbing out of his sling at age 3 months (he was looking around the room and waiving his arms and legs the day he was born--the midwife and doctor said they had never seen a newborn like that). If I didn't childproof my house and gate the stairs I could never leave his side. He is a very active explorer, and knowing the word "no" has saved him from injury several times. Believe me, having an active explorer was not a priority of mine, although I love him like that and wouldn't change him for the world. But it's really complicated to say, "Don't deprive him of that friendship." For one thing, being at her house is utterly exhausting for me, because my son gets into everything. Also, her son doesn't really like my son's style of play, and she is very protective of her son, which makes me feel defensive and feel bad for my son. So it's easier not to go over there. Does that make sense? Oh, and she won't come to my house because we have plastic toys. 

 

It was my priority to get my son to drink from an open cup, and I didn't buy a sippy for a looooong time. He was exclusively breastfed until twenty months, but at six months I started giving him a cup of water. Not until I realized that no matter how tirelessly I worked with my son (for months) he was only going to dump a cup of water over on himself as soon as I gave it to him. This was fine in the summer, but as soon as it got cold I bought him sippies, because otherwise it meant changing his clothes ten times each day. As for clapping, stacking blocks, putting together legos, and coloring, I never showed him how to do those things, never did them in front of him that I was aware of, and he picked them up quickly and naturally.

 

My mother bought my son a potty, because she believes in early potty training. However, not only will he not sit on it under any circumstances, he prefers to jump off of it and then proceed to dismantle it. Unless I somehow force him or discipline him to sit on it (which I'm not going to do), it's not going to happen anytime soon.

 

The same goes for language. I am a teacher and both my husband and I very verbal. I read to my son all day and night. He loves to sit and look at books. I sing him the alphabet song every time I change his diapers. I try to work with him and coach him. He refuses to talk! One of my favorite things to do is say to him, "Oscar, say Mama," to which he shakes his head and says, "Uh-uh." lol.gif

 

As for being around other kids, I take my son to several play groups and to the library reading time. However, I find that he does much better around older kids because he can rough house with them and they are a little more patient with him. And moms of older kids tend to forget when their kids did what. Which I find refreshing.


crunchy_mommy's Avatar crunchy_mommy 10:17 AM 12-11-2010


Quote:
Originally Posted by alittlesandy View Post

First of all, I honestly don't think it has much to do with priorities or exposure, and to be honest, I hate those words, because they seem to imply that it's something I'm doing. I think often times people take credit for behavior that has not been taught, but is simply born, or part of their child's personality.

 

I hope we didn't offend you, I don't think anyone was trying to say you were doing something wrong!! I, at least, was referring to priorities/exposure in terms of things like reciting ABC's etc.

 

There are a million different parenting styles and a million different personality types in children, the various combinations of these can result in so many differences in terms of 'milestones'....

 

I do sometimes feel self-conscious about things DS is behind in -- things like sleeping through the night (I rejoice when he sleeps 2-3 hours straight) or nursing frequency (he's getting better but still nurses more than a newborn most days!!) It's kind of weird having a 22mo that clings to me ALL. DAY. LONG. and has a huge vocabulary but won't say a single word to people outside our family. Most of our friends' kids are much more... hmm I guess 'emotionally mature' than my DS. I try not to compare but I am constantly second-guessing myself & thinking maybe there IS something wrong with him, sensory issues or emotional/social delays or something, and then I realize he's fine, and then something will happen to make me think he's not. I don't know if I'm making sense... I guess I'm just saying I do understand where you're coming from even though I'm coming from a slightly different angle.


*bejeweled*'s Avatar *bejeweled* 10:29 AM 12-11-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by dalia View Post

. The childhood years are sacred and should be respected IMO.

I wouldn't keep him from other children his age as this may send a message that you actually are afraid something is wrong. Take him everywhere with your head held high! Besides, it seems that the timeline for cchildren's milestones has more to do with personality than with smarts. They are like flowers and bloom when they are good and ready!

nod.gif So beautifully put. love.gif
physmom's Avatar physmom 10:33 AM 12-11-2010

Alright, I hope you don't read this before I have a chance to edit this since I can apparently only write posts after submitting them and then editing them!!!

 

What she said.  When I gave my example of early potty training I guess I didn't mention one of my ideas behind it.  I tend to believe there are certain periods that are sensitive periods for various milestones.  So for whatever reason showing DD the potty at a young age happened to be a sensitive period and she was able to pick it up quickly.  I have a feeling (knowning how stubborn DD can be!) that if I would've waited longer it would've been a real struggle to potty train her and she would probably be a late potty trainer.  So I agree, it's part personality, but it's part exposure.  If a kid never, ever hears the ABC song there's no chance the kid will learn it. Sure, after a certain point you can sing the song to the kid and he/she will pick it up immediately but that just means that they were ready for it at that point (because obviously, singing it to a 1 month old might calm them down but it doesn't mean they'll sign it with you!). 

 

And like crunchy_mommy.  I also have a kid that is a poor sleeper, can be really clingy etc but is verbal.  It can make you pretty self-conscious when your almost 2 year is screaming for nursing on an airplane but I've learned that you really just have to go with the flow. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by alittlesandy View Post

First of all, I honestly don't think it has much to do with priorities or exposure, and to be honest, I hate those words, because they seem to imply that it's something I'm doing. I think often times people take credit for behavior that has not been taught, but is simply born, or part of their child's personality.

 

I hope we didn't offend you, I don't think anyone was trying to say you were doing something wrong!! I, at least, was referring to priorities/exposure in terms of things like reciting ABC's etc.

 

There are a million different parenting styles and a million different personality types in children, the various combinations of these can result in so many differences in terms of 'milestones'....

 

I do sometimes feel self-conscious about things DS is behind in -- things like sleeping through the night (I rejoice when he sleeps 2-3 hours straight) or nursing frequency (he's getting better but still nurses more than a newborn most days!!) It's kind of weird having a 22mo that clings to me ALL. DAY. LONG. and has a huge vocabulary but won't say a single word to people outside our family. Most of our friends' kids are much more... hmm I guess 'emotionally mature' than my DS. I try not to compare but I am constantly second-guessing myself & thinking maybe there IS something wrong with him, sensory issues or emotional/social delays or something, and then I realize he's fine, and then something will happen to make me think he's not. I don't know if I'm making sense... I guess I'm just saying I do understand where you're coming from even though I'm coming from a slightly different angle.


alittlesandy's Avatar alittlesandy 10:38 AM 12-11-2010


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by alittlesandy View Post

First of all, I honestly don't think it has much to do with priorities or exposure, and to be honest, I hate those words, because they seem to imply that it's something I'm doing. I think often times people take credit for behavior that has not been taught, but is simply born, or part of their child's personality.

 

I hope we didn't offend you, I don't think anyone was trying to say you were doing something wrong!! I, at least, was referring to priorities/exposure in terms of things like reciting ABC's etc.

 

There are a million different parenting styles and a million different personality types in children, the various combinations of these can result in so many differences in terms of 'milestones'....

 

I do sometimes feel self-conscious about things DS is behind in -- things like sleeping through the night (I rejoice when he sleeps 2-3 hours straight) or nursing frequency (he's getting better but still nurses more than a newborn most days!!) It's kind of weird having a 22mo that clings to me ALL. DAY. LONG. and has a huge vocabulary but won't say a single word to people outside our family. Most of our friends' kids are much more... hmm I guess 'emotionally mature' than my DS. I try not to compare but I am constantly second-guessing myself & thinking maybe there IS something wrong with him, sensory issues or emotional/social delays or something, and then I realize he's fine, and then something will happen to make me think he's not. I don't know if I'm making sense... I guess I'm just saying I do understand where you're coming from even though I'm coming from a slightly different angle.



Oh, that was sweet of you. No, nobody offended me, I promise. hug2.gif

 

I guess I'm just trying to call attention to the language we use, and how it may make others feel. See, once again, I don't think it has anything to do with parenting style. I just don't. I know too many kids from the same household who are very different. I can also see certain traits in babies within days of their birth. By saying, "Oh, we have different parenting styles" or "We have different priorities," somehow implies that certain parenting styles will result in certain desired outcomes. That adds to the mother guilt.

 

As I said in my original post, I wasn't looking for either advice or reassurance that I'm doing anything wrong. I know I'm not doing anything wrong. What I was looking for were similar stories (which many of you posted, and which I love) from people saying, "Yes, that bugs me too."


crunchy_mommy's Avatar crunchy_mommy 02:07 PM 12-11-2010


Quote:
Originally Posted by alittlesandy View Post

 

I guess I'm just trying to call attention to the language we use, and how it may make others feel. See, once again, I don't think it has anything to do with parenting style. I just don't. I know too many kids from the same household who are very different. I can also see certain traits in babies within days of their birth. By saying, "Oh, we have different parenting styles" or "We have different priorities," somehow implies that certain parenting styles will result in certain desired outcomes. That adds to the mother guilt.

 

Well I think it does have a little to do with parenting style. True, you can spend all day every day teaching kids the ABCs etc. and some just won't pick up on it 'til they're ready. But if you never even introduce it to them in the first place (never say/sing the alphabet) then it would be much more likely that they would pick it up on the late side, & if you drill them with it hourly, they probably will pick it up sooner. My DS seems ready to potty-train but for me it is not a priority & we have a lot of other stresses in our life so I am holding him back & limiting potty time rather than encouraging it at this point (and I'm sure that may be controversial so I'm admitting to it reluctantly lol!) That's what most of us mean by exposure & parenting styles -- not that they are the deciding factor in reaching milestones, just that they CAN have an effect & if you're comparing to people with different priorities then it's just not a valid comparison (and neither is comparing kids with opposite personalities... or most other comparisons, I guess). I totally get what you're saying about the language though. It's just like when someone says, "I do AP so my baby doesn't cry." That's heartbreaking to hear for me as a mom of a very high-needs DS. I spent the first year++ of his life feeling like the worst mother in the world because even though I was doing everything 'right' he was still so miserable all the time. It's especially easy for first-time moms I think to make the mistake of assuming their child's behavior/abilities/etc. have everything to do with their parenting skills. Of course each baby is different & many traits are just ingrained in their personality. But other things are taught & learned & molded & if we give up the fact that we do have SOME influence in our children's lives then I think we'd be raising some crazy kids lol. What would be the point of AP or discipline or any other parenting tool if it had absolutely no effect at all?? Do you know what I mean? It's a really hard balance to strike to say we have some influence without inducing mom-guilt... and I know that's why I often feel I did something wrong, there is something wrong with me as a mom because my kid isn't as happy & social & calm as the other kids we see. I sometimes feel like one of the reasons I want a second child sooner rather than later is because I need to prove to myself that it's NOT something I did wrong, that I CAN raise an easy-going kid.... I'm trying hard not to get caught up in that kind of thinking...


Peony's Avatar Peony 02:19 PM 12-11-2010

My 19m old is behind, and I love him just the way he is. Children are who they are, I do have multiple children so I have experience to say it is nothing I am doing. It is just him. I rarely get comments on DS because he does try to engage with people despite having no verbal skills either and some mobility issues. Speech wise he is at the level of a 12m old and his motor skills are that of a 15m old. It isn't uncommon though for people to assume he is much younger then he is. Apparently my children just take longer to mature then others, all have been lagging in some areas, DS is far below where the girls were and they where not advanced by any means! DD1 is dyslexic, her reading is years below where she should be at, but excels physically. She struggles with a book but will out snowboard many an adult. All children have strong and weak areas just like adults do. I ignore all comparing, it is just easier that way. 


Maiasaura's Avatar Maiasaura 02:45 PM 12-11-2010


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by alittlesandy View PostI don’t really need to be reassured that my son is “normal.” My motherly instinct says this is so and my pediatrician agrees. Also, I should point out that nobody is making comparisons except me, but it makes me feel self-conscious, because I imagine that people are thinking it even if they don’t say it.

 

I guess I’m hoping to hear stories from people who are going through the same thing.



And your motherly instinct is right on. I didn't even read the replies. I got so mad that people would think there is something wrong with your son, I just had to reply-- and I'm not trying to reassure anybody. Your son IS normal. Not a dang thing wrong with him.

 

My son is turning 10yo in January. He could do NONE of those things at your son's age. He talked between 2y3m and 2y5m. He walked at 14 months. He drank from a sippy cup until he was years and years old, only because I didn't want to clean liquid up all over the house, and I didn't feel like restricting drinks to the kitchen. He potty-learned for pee near 3yo, and poo before he was 4, but I don't remember exactly when. Night-pottying was somewhere between 3 and 4yo. We co-slept until he was about 7yo, and he didn't even have his own room till he was 4 or 5.

 

Now he's nearly 10 and he's an accelerated reader, has the vocabulary of a college student, is very, very bright and astute. He has been writing in cursive since age 7, he has his multiplication tables memorized, he can add and subtract with numbers up to 4 or 5 place settings and is learning to multiply and divide the same sized numbers. He's an amazing poet.

He pees and poops all by himself and has for quite some time lol.gif He talks-- oh, how he talks-- he never shuts up! He walks just fine, and runs, too. He drinks from open cups though even at this age I will still sometimes insist on the sippys in his bedroom, which he has no problem with. He didn't sleep through the night until he was over three-- did you know that the medical (maybe not medical-- maybe it's just professional or something) definition for "sleeping through the night" is only 5 lousy hours in a row? Now he sleeps like 12 hours if I don't wake him up. He had his last ceremonial nursing on his 9th birthday.

 

Oh-- when he was little, I was the only mom in every playgroup that had to shadow my son. We finally stopped going to playgroups or playgrounds that weren't fenced. He'd run full-tilt into busy roads, on purpose, and laugh his little patootie off on the way, and I couldn't catch him. I didn't like gates either, but that was my choice and I stopped going to people's houses that refused to put things up or allow me to. People ended up visiting me at my house, where I didn't have to dog my son every second, and I could actually visit with people (including my mom), or I didn't see them. Again, my choice, but back then it seemed like there were only two camps: the "no" camp that had hand-slapping along with it, or the ''yes" camp where the kid kind of ran free, while contained. I don't know if there's a middle ground nowadays.

 

Anyway. Boy did your post bring up memories, sorry for ranting! lol.gif You're fine. Probably you just need to find  your not-give-a-shit bone and let stuff roll off of your shoulders winky.gif You're fine. Your kid is fine. It's all good and it will all work out just awesome. You're doing a fine job!


physmom's Avatar physmom 03:17 PM 12-11-2010


Yep, I'd agree to that too.  Honestly, I don't think DH and I will EVER produce an easy baby so we've decided to go for a larger spacing between kids.  That being said we've found that making our home friendly to DD so she can reach her snacks etc on her level has made her a significantly easiER child.  So I'm pretty squarely in the you can't change personality section but you can make changes in your parenting that help/make things easier on your self or your kids.  Somethings you just have to deal with (like DD's absolute hatred of carseats) but others are more flexible.  Clear as mud, right! ;)

Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by alittlesandy View Post

 

I guess I'm just trying to call attention to the language we use, and how it may make others feel. See, once again, I don't think it has anything to do with parenting style. I just don't. I know too many kids from the same household who are very different. I can also see certain traits in babies within days of their birth. By saying, "Oh, we have different parenting styles" or "We have different priorities," somehow implies that certain parenting styles will result in certain desired outcomes. That adds to the mother guilt.

 

Well I think it does have a little to do with parenting style. True, you can spend all day every day teaching kids the ABCs etc. and some just won't pick up on it 'til they're ready. But if you never even introduce it to them in the first place (never say/sing the alphabet) then it would be much more likely that they would pick it up on the late side, & if you drill them with it hourly, they probably will pick it up sooner. My DS seems ready to potty-train but for me it is not a priority & we have a lot of other stresses in our life so I am holding him back & limiting potty time rather than encouraging it at this point (and I'm sure that may be controversial so I'm admitting to it reluctantly lol!) That's what most of us mean by exposure & parenting styles -- not that they are the deciding factor in reaching milestones, just that they CAN have an effect & if you're comparing to people with different priorities then it's just not a valid comparison (and neither is comparing kids with opposite personalities... or most other comparisons, I guess). I totally get what you're saying about the language though. It's just like when someone says, "I do AP so my baby doesn't cry." That's heartbreaking to hear for me as a mom of a very high-needs DS. I spent the first year++ of his life feeling like the worst mother in the world because even though I was doing everything 'right' he was still so miserable all the time. It's especially easy for first-time moms I think to make the mistake of assuming their child's behavior/abilities/etc. have everything to do with their parenting skills. Of course each baby is different & many traits are just ingrained in their personality. But other things are taught & learned & molded & if we give up the fact that we do have SOME influence in our children's lives then I think we'd be raising some crazy kids lol. What would be the point of AP or discipline or any other parenting tool if it had absolutely no effect at all?? Do you know what I mean? It's a really hard balance to strike to say we have some influence without inducing mom-guilt... and I know that's why I often feel I did something wrong, there is something wrong with me as a mom because my kid isn't as happy & social & calm as the other kids we see. I sometimes feel like one of the reasons I want a second child sooner rather than later is because I need to prove to myself that it's NOT something I did wrong, that I CAN raise an easy-going kid.... I'm trying hard not to get caught up in that kind of thinking...




alittlesandy's Avatar alittlesandy 05:25 PM 12-11-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maiasaura View Post

Oh-- when he was little, I was the only mom in every playgroup that had to shadow my son. We finally stopped going to playgroups or playgrounds that weren't fenced. He'd run full-tilt into busy roads, on purpose, and laugh his little patootie off on the way, and I couldn't catch him. I didn't like gates either, but that was my choice and I stopped going to people's houses that refused to put things up or allow me to. People ended up visiting me at my house, where I didn't have to dog my son every second, and I could actually visit with people (including my mom), or I didn't see them.


I can't tell you how happy it made me to hear this. I know exactly what you mean by "shadowing." It stresses me out to take my son to the playground or library (although I continue to do it). He runs right up to other kids and hugs them, tries to play with them (doesn't know how to hang back), dives right in. He runs full tilt into life, so to speak. This would be fine except for the silent stares from the parents on the sidelines, and kids who say, "Can you keep your baby away from me?" When we are out in public I am constantly pulling him off of people and apologizing. I am getting very close to being one of those people who lets people come to our house if they want to see us.

 

We are trying to have another one, and I always joke with my DH, "What if our DS is the good one, lol." (This is a joke, by the way, I don't think my son is bad." )

 


Marissamom's Avatar Marissamom 06:02 PM 12-11-2010


Quote:
Originally Posted by alittlesandy View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maiasaura View Post

Oh-- when he was little, I was the only mom in every playgroup that had to shadow my son. We finally stopped going to playgroups or playgrounds that weren't fenced. He'd run full-tilt into busy roads, on purpose, and laugh his little patootie off on the way, and I couldn't catch him. I didn't like gates either, but that was my choice and I stopped going to people's houses that refused to put things up or allow me to. People ended up visiting me at my house, where I didn't have to dog my son every second, and I could actually visit with people (including my mom), or I didn't see them.


I can't tell you how happy it made me to hear this. I know exactly what you mean by "shadowing." It stresses me out to take my son to the playground or library (although I continue to do it). He runs right up to other kids and hugs them, tries to play with them (doesn't know how to hang back), dives right in. He runs full tilt into life, so to speak. This would be fine except for the silent stares from the parents on the sidelines, and kids who say, "Can you keep your baby away from me?" When we are out in public I am constantly pulling him off of people and apologizing. I am getting very close to being one of those people who lets people come to our house if they want to see us.

 

We are trying to have another one, and I always joke with my DH, "What is this is the good one, lol." (This is a joke, by the way, I don't think my son is bad." )

 


sounds like you have a spirited toddler who's always going to do things in his own time. DD can be the same way, yesterday she kept trying to run down the hall at La Leche League. she was the only one out of the 6 or 7 toddlers there who even seemed to notice there was a door. my parents keep telling me "now you know what you put us through". 


Bebe's Mom's Avatar Bebe's Mom 07:57 PM 12-11-2010

I know exactly how the OP feels, I stopped reading those "milestone emails" that I used to get. DD was never on track with those things...She walked at 11 months, but she has just now started learning words at 15 months. I feel like she was using all her energy on learning to walk and now that she has that down, she is focusing on words. Especially since she is learning so many words so quickly. Just in the past week or two she has gone from using one or two words to using six or seven. And she is also signing, even though I haven't really taught her much...As far as the "so big" game goes, I think it is great because DD learned the sign for "big" in this way. Plus it shows that she is understanding what I am saying to her.(Not to mention how much she loves it, and she gets a huge smile on her face when she does it, which is so cute, but I digress.)orngbiggrin.gif

 

A couple of weeks ago I went to an LLL potluck and one of the children there was almost exactly DD's age and she had so many words! (Including Mama, which DD has yet to say.)I felt very inadequate ( and a bit jealousredface.gif) as a parent because at that time, the extent of DD's spoken vocabulary was "Hi"...The other little girl was saying hot, mama, please (!) and quite a few other words I can't remember at this time. As of today, DD says dada, kitty cat, doggie, hi, uh oh, cookie, and I think she is working on thank you...These words were in there all the time, but now she can actually get them out. It's like when I was trying to teach her to clap her hands and play peek a boo. One day she just did it out of the blue with no prompting from me. Now she claps her hands whenever she hears applause on the tv or the radio.

 

Whenever I start talking to my MIL about my worries re developmental progress, she always says "in five years you won't even remember when she started saying cat" Well, I probably will, but I get her point, which is that in the long run it doesn't really matter if she says it at ten months or twenty, the fact is she will eventually say it, and stop worrying already, lol.

 

I agree with other posters that some parents exaggerate or outright make up stuff about their kids..When DD started walking I had people coming up to me telling me that their daughter/son/grandson/nephew etc walked at 7/8/9/10 months... I am not saying that a child couldn't walk early, but 7 months??eyesroll.gif I have yet to see that, and that is the only way I will believe it.

 

As far as drinking from a cup goes, DD does drink well from a cup because I started her off very early, like seven months-using a shot glass. But she cannot hold it on her own because she will dump it, and she still takes a sip sometimes and lets it all dribble out of her mouth. So don't feel bad. I started out anti-sippy, but now DD has one and uses it for meals mostly, but I also give her water between meals. She also loves to suck on her spray bottle. shrug.gif

 

I wouldn't shun your friends unless they are purposely trying to one up you, and it doesn't sound to me like they are-just being doting parents, IMO. DD gets so much out of playing with other kids her age and older, it really speeds up her development a lot. I know it can be hard seeing other people's kids doing more than yours, but if your DC is around them, he will pick up stuff a lot faster. Also keep in mind that as a parent, you may not see your child developing quickly because you see him every day..Other people may notice things you do not and point them out to you. In fact, I stated reading Baby Signs yesterday, and it made me realize how much DD actually has been communicating non-verbally, I just didn't realize it consciously.

 

You sound like a great parent who is very involved and very caring, and your son is normal, so just enjoy him and this time, because it will go soo fast!! I saw this bumper sticker once and it still cracks me up-"we spend the first two years teaching them to stand up and talk, and the next 16 telling them to sit down and shut up" ROTFLMAO.gif


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