Monday, February 18, 2013

Milestones

Milestones in our children can be a struggle. I even struggled with it with our first son. It seemed like someone else's child was talking first or walking first. You go to the doctor and they quiz you on the food you feed your child because he is lighter than the average. You are questioned about how many words your child says and whether he or she stacks blocks etc... We live in a milestone driven age. No one can be themself, everyone needs to be compared to the average.

Don't get me wrong, I understand where this is important. Many childhood problems are discovered because a child is not making those milestones. Sometimes it just seems, that all of this talk of being the same as everyone else ends up creeping into how we feel about our children.

We love our kids, but when we know what they should be doing, we might react in a few different ways. We might start pushing our children, we might get depressed, we might feel jealous of our friend's children, or we might say that we are just not going to worry about it. These responses are negative. The best response is to look our child, realize that every child is different, and encourage your child to grow. There is definitely a balance that needs to be kept here.

With my son Trenton, it has still been a struggle at times even though I know he is about 4 months behind. I still find myself looking at other people's children and seeing what he "should" be doing now. It is really futile to look at things this way. Every day is a milestone for him. A couple of days ago, it was laughing out loud. Today it was that he seemed to be hearing. for the last few days, he has been gaining strengh to sit in the tripod sitting position.

Sometimes I forget how old he is. Sometimes I forget what he "should" be doing. Sometimes that is a good thing, because it helps me to be thankful for the milestones when they come no matter how late they are.

Something that I have learned in all of these difficult situations in life is that I'm not alone. If I have experienced it, thought it, been anxious about it etc... someone else has too.

Here is the challenge. Whether or not your child has special needs is not the issue. Every child is different. Some are skinny and healthy. Some or chubby and healthy. Some are not able to walk yet, but that is just God's timing. Some cannot talk yet, and that is God's timing too. This is not to say that we should not be aware of some of these areas and check out warning signs. What this is to say is that we cannot be comparing ourselves with each other because this does not edify each other or ourselves, and it will lead to nothing good.

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