If there is one thing I have learned from being a mom to two small children is that all kids are different. They all have their strengths and weaknesses, and they all have different personalities. I have also learned that because of these differences, you cannot compare children to each other. Most of the time, you just set yourself up for disappointment if you do.
I have a confession to make…when Rylie was a baby, I was constantly comparing her to other kids. If a kid in her daycare class was doing something that she wasn’t able to do yet, I would immediately start worrying that something was wrong. Take her friend Angelica, for example. She is almost five months younger than Rylie, and seemed to do everything super early. Imagine how I felt when I brought my 8 month old baby, who couldn’t even crawl yet, to daycare and here is this 4 month old pushing up on her knees and rocking. I was devastated! And then when I took her to her 15 month well visit and almost broke down into tears because she was hardly talking at all, and Angelica was already saying words like “kitty”. I hated that my kid wasn’t doing things other kids were doing.
But you know what? Rylie did finally crawl and she ended up excelling in communication skills at a very young age. I don’t remember exactly when it was that I realized I was having actual conversations with her, but I think back to when she was the age that Bryce is now, and I remember how well she talked and communicated with us. We had conversations about her baby brother and she knew everything that was going on. She talked in complete sentences and was easy to understand. Most of her friends didn’t communicate as near as well as she did at that point in time. Her pediatrician was amazed at how well she talked. I really didn’t think she was all that advanced, but the more toddlers I am around, the more I realize that she was. Her communication skills definitely ended up being way above normal.
She also caught up with her motor skills. She finally learned how to crawl at 9 months, and then was walking at 11 months. She still can’t ride a bike, and that’s OK. She’ll figure it out when she is ready to figure it out. I know that.
What prompted me to write this post was a conversation that Brian and I had the other night. You see, Bryce is 20 months old and doesn’t talk much at all. He says words, and has a few new ones every day, but he isn’t NEAR on the level that Rylie was when she was this age. Now, if he had been my first child, I would already be worried sick about it. I know better now. The kid understands every single thing you say to him. You can tell him to go get his red ball, and he will go to the room that his red ball is in and bring it to you. He follows directions well, no matter what we tell him to do. And speaking of colors, he knows most all colors now, which is something Rylie didn’t know at this age.
Rylie’s communication skills may have been better than Bryce’s at this age, but his motor skills are better than hers were. From the time she could walk until she was 18 or 19 months old, Rylie was very clumsy and was constantly hurting herself. I mean hurting herself pretty badly too. She always had goose eggs, black eyes and fat lips, and even once had a huge friction burn that took up the whole side of her face. Bryce, on the other hand, has never gotten hurt. At least not bad like that. ::knock on wood:: He can even steer the Power Wheels pretty well, which is something we’re still working on with Rylie.
The bottom line here is that all kids are unique. And generally, if your child isn’t doing something that his or her peers are doing, they WILL catch up. Of course there are going to be instances where a child’s lack of ability is a sign of a problem, and you should always talk to your pediatrician if you are concerned, but chances are, they are just fine. Rather than concentrating on their lack of ability, concentrate on the abilities they DO have. You will feel much better if you do.
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