Often times, moms will ask me questions about potty training, sleeping patterns and eating habits. While I enjoy knowing that I’m not the only one whose child doesn’t nap, I also am cautious about comparing my child to others. After all, as parents, it’s nice to know “we’re not alone.” On the other hand, sometimes it’s okay to be the only one in a particular situation. Here are some of the pros and cons of comparing children.
Pro: It’s Good to Vent
Toddlers can be tough. Sometimes, I like knowing that other parents have children who won’t eat their vegetables or who throw tantrums. It’s nice to be able to relate to someone about my “toddler trials.”
Pro: You Might Get Some Quality Advice
While I dislike unsolicited advice, I find it interesting to see how other parents deal with various issues. For instance, the other day I was talking to a mom about selling back worn baby clothes. She had just come back from a consignment sale and gotten some great deals. Thus, I made a mental note to consider selling my used clothing there.
Con: Worrying About Milestones
My daughter is smaller so she looks younger. Thus, I see mothers get a worried look on their faces when they see her talking so much or singing a song. How old is she? Now, that some of her friends are older, they are talking more too. Often times, I think we worry about what other people’s children are doing. This can be dangerous. If most of your friends have babies that walked before a year, you might wonder why your child isn’t more mobile. Yet, in the end, many babies and toddlers catch up to each other.
Con: Sometimes you’re the Odd Man Out
A lot of my friends put their toddlers in beds before they were two. I waited until a few months before my daughter’s third birthday. She was comfortable in her crib and slept soundly. Although I might have been waited longer than some people, I never worried if it was a bad choice. However, it’s easy to feel like you made a wrong decision. In reality, I have learned that the less popular choice is sometimes better.
Con: Children Don’t like it
As children get older, they typically don’t like being compared to one another. As a teacher, I know siblings usually dislike being compared. Furthermore, it’s never a good idea to say, “Why can’t you just be more like Johnny.” This can be damaging to a child’s self-esteem.
Final thought: Every Child is Unique
Children come in a variety of shapes and sizes. They have different personalities and develop at different rates. Some children may talk earlier. Some may run quicker. However, all kids are gifts from God. We need to be thankful for their unique design.
Thus, go ahead and compare. Yet, realize that children are different and that’s okay.
7 Simple Activities for Sick Toddlers
Life Lessons I Learned from My Toddler
How to Stop Judging Other Parents