My little one started walking at 1 year 1 months, which was quite late by the standards set by his own father!
Right from the time a child is born, comparisons start. Someone stands as early as 8 months, while some can’t even walk at 1 and half years.
Someone learns all the skills too fast, while some cannot bicycle till later! We are so used to standards for ourselves as well as our children that we forget to see and appreciate the qualities they have.
Many of the times the comparisons are not from far, but from within the family which at times create a resentment within the child as they grow big. Their own siblings, cousins and even parents and so on.
My little one was not able to walk at his first birthday while his own father had done it at 11 months. Not only was this a big challenge but everyone looked down as if there was some fault in the way I was looking after him.
And the comparisons never stop, whether it is kindergarten or higher grades ! Marks, grades, prizes, skills like reciting a poem or a table, singing, dancing, studies, sports what not. Everyone wants a trophy child! An all rounder!
Look at your brother! He gets 99% in all the subjects and look at you!
That girl dances so well, and you have been just wasting money in the dance school.
The neighbors are so lucky, all kids are well mannered and intelligent. The elder one just got IIT admission, don’t know when our kids will wake up?
We all have heard such statements and these never encourage anyone. Infact, everytime a child hears such a statement, he pushes himself one step backwards.
I grew up in a educated segment, my both parents being educationists, and every time I heard such a statement I would feel worthless. Yet, in our times every parent resorted to such blackmail.
Every child is different and sooner or later everyone learns. Someone might be good in studies. Other might be a sportsperson par excellence, while other might be an inborn singer. Yet, most of the time each of them fall short of parental expectations, and then comes unhealthy pushing and comparison.
Every child needs a push, but in a right way. When we point out at inadequacy, not only it breaks their confidence, but also creates a resentment against the person being compared and also against the one who compares.
No child comes with a rule book or a benchmark. The milestones, developmental, social, physical and mental are to guide us to seek professional help where required and not to force kid and fuss about it. Somewhere in the rat race, we forget this and start comparing apples, mangoes, oranges and grapes with each other forgetting that each serves a different purpose.
A child who is born mentally retarded is at times accepted by the parent, though not by the extended family at large, but can’t we have that same unconditional acceptance for kids who are born with normal mental development.
Every child just needs an unconditional love and acceptance to blossom. Let him chase his own dreams ! Let him pave his own way!
I am participating in the AtoZ challenge and this post is my entry for letter A.