How Do You Cope with the Comparison Game? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 07-03-2012, 08:25 AM - Thread Starter
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DS is about 13 months now, and I am finding it increasingly difficult not to get caught up in worrying about where he is developmentally. Other moms I know who've had babies around the same age will post pics or videos of what their babies are doing, or talk about it, and I constantly am thinking, "My baby doesn't do that! And he's older! Is he okay? What's wrong??" 


I never worried about this stuff when he was really little, but now that he's a little older I"m letting it drive me nuts. His doctor gives him a perfect bill of health, and his daycare teachers say he's doing great. But I still can't get over this.


Just a few examples-


A baby 1.5 months younger than him can say all kinds of words, like "kitty, mama, dada, mik (milk)." She will also point to things when her parents say certain words. Like, "where's the clock?" and she points to it. 


Another baby, my son's age, walked at 10 months. My son can't walk yet, he can only cruise on furniture. This baby also makes vroom vroom noises when he plays with his cars and trucks, and of course, DS doesn't do that.


I guess I just worry the most about his verbal and cognitive development. He babbles and makes all kinds of little sounds but he can't say words consistently. He's said mama and dada but he doesn't say them consistently. I haven't heard "mama" in months. 


I know I'm probably being ridiculous, but I just worry. I think my guilt about having him in daycare half the day also plays into this. Like, if I was home maybe he'd be, I don't know, more ahead of the curve or something? 


Do any of you out there deal with this? How do you reassure yourself?

"The Mothers are the brave ones." - Call the Midwife

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#2 of 11 Old 07-03-2012, 08:39 AM
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I did this, but mostly with my daughter (my first), although I was very quickly able to reassure myself when I looked at the range of normal (for example, I think that babies roll over between 4 and 8 months...that's a huge range!!).  Now that I have a second baby (almost exactly two years younger than my daughter) and see him doing some things way sooner than his sister, it really just solidifies that all babies are different and comparing them isn't very valuable.  As long as your DS is meeting milestones within the expected timeframe, I would try not to focus on what other babies are doing.  When he out riding a bike and playing T-ball with a herd of other kids you probably won't remember when he walked!

Mama to F (3/09) and S (3/11); and never forgetting my babe gone too soon angel1.gif(4/10).

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#3 of 11 Old 07-03-2012, 10:05 AM
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I agree; so long as he's not consistently falling behind, I wouldn't be worried :) 


My son is 20 months, and only recently started to consistently use words.  But I'm the only one who can understand most of them.  He walked right at one, but my nephew walked a bunch later.  For that matter, my nephew didn't even crawl until he was just about walking. Both things are normal.  And so is having a little bit of worry.  But don't stress over it, kids develop differently, and it's pretty awesome that they do - they are figuring out this crazy world around them, and picking up on what they find most interesting at the moment.  Some kids are really intense, some kids are much more laid back.  My cousin has twins, and it's funny because even though they have the exact same upbringing, one twin has been hell bent on accomplishing those milestones, and the other finds joy in watching and accomplished the same feats on a different time table.  Both are developing normally. 

Enjoy the ride :)

     Mommy to DS born 11-10-10  wave.gifAnd DD born 6-3-13 baby.gif  

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#4 of 11 Old 07-03-2012, 11:01 AM
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I just did my best to avoid comparison. I followed my gut instinct and tried to avoid comparing what she was doing with what everyone else's kid was doing. Compared to some kids, she was WAY ahead in certain areas and way slow in others (slow to talk, for example). I agree w/ the others, so long as there's not an issue of being consistently behind and your gut instinct tells you he's okay despite what little Johnny over there is doing, I'm sure everything will be okay. :) The age ranges for so many milestones can be pretty wide and SOMEONE has to round out both ends of 'normal' spectrum, you know?

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#5 of 11 Old 07-03-2012, 11:02 AM
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Coming back to add that my DD had very few words until she hit about 20-22 months and then it just happened overnight and she was practically talking in full sentences. She had just been holding out on us! ;) LOL

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#6 of 11 Old 07-03-2012, 11:24 AM
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I do compare, I can't help it, but I don't let it worry me.  I think a lot of first babies are a little behind the exact mid point of average, they don't have that sibling to look up to and learn from.  I also get this weird sense of pride when my kid does something on the earlier range - even though it is no reflection of my parenting.  And makes no difference down the road.   My son didn't start jumping until he was 3, my daughter was 14 months.  He didn't have anyone modeling jumping and I was too pregnant to do so.  He is not very adventurous, my daughter is.  

Mama to three

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#7 of 11 Old 07-04-2012, 08:58 AM
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I agree with the above. Kids develop differently and they are different. My friend's DD walked at 11 months (she was a preemie so 9.5 months adjusted!) and my DD wasn't walking until after 13 months. On the other hand, her DD hated tummy time, loved the jumper and never crawled. MyDD loved tummy time, hated the jumper and started crawling on her belly at 6 months. Her DD points to stuff and says more words. My Dd doesn't point, dropped a couple of her words but is babbling like crazy to work out how to make different sounds. Babies and young toddlers are busy trying to work out this big puzzle called life. Just like kids learn to paint or read at different times in different ways, the younger ones find different ways to communicate and get around. Unless there are systemic problems, I say your LO is busy problem solving in his unique way and I wouldn't worry at all. I'm sure there are things that he does much better than other kids who seem "ahead" of him in some way.
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#8 of 11 Old 07-16-2012, 11:46 PM
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FWIW, the comparison game isn't at all helpful or useful. I find myself playing it only when I feel inadequate as a parent. My kid's pretty physical, but not too verbal (10 mos)... I cringe every time I hear myself bragging about his height or mobility, and I feel awful when my mama friends brag about their babies' verbal prowess, but we all do it at some point. Focus on the positive as best as you can, and remember what it's really about... because it's not got much at all to do with actual development. It's just our insecurities raising their ugly heads... and when we remember that we do better at being mutually supportive, and compassionate with each other. :)




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#9 of 11 Old 07-17-2012, 12:17 AM
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I had several friends that always seemed to say *the thing* to get to me.  One in particular  --  gah!  --  would seem to do it almost purposely.  I am sure they were mostly just excited about what their kids were up to and not realizing....  But I would say something like, gosh, he isn't at all interested in letters or numbers and one of my friends would say, "eh, I wouldn't worry about that, when my kid learned his letters [at some age way younger than mine at that point]..." and then on to some story about how amazing and brilliant their kid was.  I know that sounds like I was being oversensitive or something, but it really did happen.  lol  When my older one was maybe 15 months old, I took him to a well baby check-up and the doc asked me if he was saying at least 20 words (or 50?  whatever it was sounded astronomical to me).  I think he was only saying "mama" at that point.  So, at playgroup a few days later, I said, the doc asked me... blah, blah, blah and everyone got kind of quiet and wouldn't look at me!  And there were two other babies in that playgroup within 3 weeks of age.  And of course they were talking in paragraphs and telling stories with beginnings, middles, and ends.  It was terrible!


BUT my child who was totally last at all that stuff, at least of this little group of babies, started *pre-school* at *five* (well, he turned five a couple of weeks later) without knowing how to properly hold a pencil, count past ten, recognize any letters or numbers.  He didn't know any letter sounds, or care to.  None of it!  And he was reading and writing (nearly illegibly, but still) by the end of that school year.  By the time he got to what we were thinking of as second grade, his montessori teachers had lost track of how long he'd been there and were treating him as a third grader.  


It has seemed to me that he waits a long time to try things but by the time he does he's mature enough that he immediately catches up to the age appropriate level.  Like, he was adamant that he wanted to stay in diapers, so I let him until I couldn't stand it anymore, and the day he turned 3 1/2 I put all of his diapers away and said we were done with them.  And he never had an accident.  I think that was probably about the same time that the other kids not randomly peeing in their unders.  


Anyway, I did a lot of holding my breath, but in a way I kinda new all along.  But I only see that now in hindsight.  I wish I had known I knew it then!

Jayne, sewing up a storm mama to ds1 9/03, ds2 2/09, and 2 sweet furbabies.

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#10 of 11 Old 07-17-2012, 11:05 PM
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<quote>It has seemed to me that he waits a long time to try things but by the time he does he's mature enough that he immediately catches up to the age appropriate level.</quote>


This!  Or at least it's what I've been telling myself. wink1.gif


DS turns 2 this week - didn't even stand up until almost a year, didn't walk until...14 or 15 months?  Maybe even later?  I can't believe I can't remember now...  He only said maybe 3 words when he was "supposed" to be able to say a bunch, and Mama wasn't one of them...  And then one day, paragraphs, running around the house, figuring out where to put complex shapes in puzzles when he couldn't even figure out how to dump them out before.   For him, I think, he just takes it all in and processes, and then leaps to the next level, instead of showing gradual progress or showing his thought process.


Everyone comments on how verbal he is, which flabbergasts me since I was so worried about it for so long, but now of course we deal with other kids at the park making fun of him for not being able to "talk right" - he's very tall for his age, so they all think he's 3 or 4!  When we say "He's ok, guys, he's only 2," they're surprised.  So I'm a proud mama, but the comparisons STILL never end.  He can't tell colors to save his life, and I'm all freaked out about it because our next door neighbors were giving us sleep advice when their daughter was 18 months and telling us about some clock that is red at night and green when she's allowed to get up and what a lifesaver it was..and there's NO WAY that would work here because he thinks every color is green.  LOL  I even thought about getting him tested for color-blindedness! (which he definitely isn't because I can tell he knows the difference, he just can't name them or grab the right one when asked) So even though I know when day he'll just come out with the freakin' rainbow in proper ROY G BIV order, it's so hard to shut off that voice that's both worried for him and worried about him, and worried about being judged as a bad mom, like I should have spent more time teaching him colors or something.

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#11 of 11 Old 07-18-2012, 08:22 AM
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I struggle with this occasionally, and same as you, mostly with the verbal/cognitive stuff.  He's 19 months and just said his first "real" word at 18 months, and has maybe a half dozen words now that he very rarely uses.  Meanwhile he has a cousin 6 months younger who says more words than him and seems to understand more/take more direction.


It crosses my mind now and then, but I try not to compare.  DS is very physically oriented - he has little to no interest in books and would gladly spend all day climbing and throwing.  He's also very spirited and has definite ideas about what he wants to do and when, and it isn't that he *can't* show us where his nose is, it's that he doesn't want to.  Most of the time if you try to play those "Can you say..." or "Where is your..." games, he just shakes his head.  Fair enough!  It's honestly like in his head he's thinking, "I know where my *%^&ing nose is mom, I just showed you yesterday.  Lay off."

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