Saturday, May 2, 2009

The Developmental Milestone War

"Aww! Your son is so cute! How old is he?"

"A year."

"Really? He's big for a year. Is he walking?"

"No, no he's not walking yet."

"Oh, well my daughter was walking at 9 months. Just give him time he'll do it. Is he talking yet?"

"Yeah, he says 'mama' and 'dada' but he doesn't really know what they mean."

"Well, my daughter was talking at 11 months, he's going to get there...."

Sound familiar? What I have just recounted is a common phenomenon amongst parents; competition.

Human beings are inherently competitive. But that competition intensifies when it comes to our children. Because our children are extensions of ourselves.

So if another parent tells me that their child is talking at one year, I get anxious and defensive; its only natural. I'm thinking to myself:

Why isn't my son talking? Is there something wrong with him? Is there something wrong with me? What's going on?!

So what do I do? I bring up some other wonderful thing that he has started to do!

"Well, he just recently started pointing!! And that's early too! He's actually under a year. Usually kids don't start pointing until after they turn a year."

I know, its immature of me. But I need to feel secure about my son's development and my parenting skills. But I've noticed that I'm not alone. Many other parents are competitive with regard to their children.

However, I have noticed that this competition is not productive. For me, it makes me constantly question myself and my son.

The solution; be more mindful of when I compete with other parents. My competitive nature is not going to make my son do things any faster. Because at the end of the day, our kids do things at their own pace on their journey to becoming who they are.


  1. This was a delightful blog! Lots of identification on this topic for sure. It was insightful to me, reminding me of how competetive parents, particularly new parents can be, almost at no fault of their own. Very helpful. Greaat job. Thanks. (Loved the pictures too.)

  2. Haha! Zalah is so slow. I'm like, whatever man. Ari is TOTALLY fine! lol. You just live in Yuppie town. Don't let it get to you! You are amazing!

  3. Great post.

    Boys hit most milestones later (on average of course).

    You need to come over and read my child development books again.

  4. Oh also - I've spoken to some parents who are concerned if their 3 and 4 year olds aren't writing yet (because many are) - but apparently it isn't considered an issue developmentally until after FIVE.
    (developmental "norm" for age 4-5 = "write SOME letters")

    And their (not yet writing) kids are usually ahead in sports skills, or in art, or music, or math. So its just different.

  5. My son just finished his PhD, and he's only 13 months old! We've been feeding him Omega 3 and fish oils since he was 6 weeks old, and I truly belive that is why he is so briliant..

  6. It's definitely the Omega 3's. Is he working on a second PhD?

  7. I remember getting down on my hands and knees to teach you how to crawl. How silly is that? You figured it out in your own way, a slight variation on my demonstration.

  8. I thought I never crawled, right? Didn't I go straight to walking? I was one of THOSE kids...


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