< Things I Can't Say: Comparing Children

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Friday, February 20, 2009

Comparing Children

Yes, I know, this is something that we are not supposed to do. But, I think that if we were all honest with ourselves, we all do it to some extent.

Where I'm the most guilty in this is comparing my oldest two. They are just shy of 17 months apart, so the things that the oldest was doing are still fresh in my mind.

When it was my first I was wondering about, I checked with books to see what was considered "normal." When he would roll over, sit up, crawl, walk, talk, etc. But, with my second, I rarely found the time to consult those books(and let's not talk about what it's been like with my third...but that's not my point today), so I just thought about when the oldest did those things.

It really wasn't a big issue at first. But, where I struggle is right now, with language acquisition. When my oldest was the age my middle son is now, he could speak like a, well, like a grown-up. In fact, he could hold actual conversations, explaining his thought process and emotions by the time he was 2. It just seemed normal to me to have a tiny little person who was able to do that, though I do remember people commenting on how amazing it was. But, since he was my first, it just seemed normal.

So, now my poor middle child is stuck being compared to that standard of "normal." Totally not fair. He's been subjected to two different speech screenings, since we were worried about a delay. I've consulted the pediatrician about it and read up on this. The pediatrician had to firmly tell me "You are comparing him to your oldest son and your oldest son is NOT normal. It's not fair to make that comparison." The speech therapists said that he's right on track, maybe even just slightly ahead. The research of done says the same thing: surprisingly, very little language is actually considered the norm for a child who is a few months shy of turning 3, and Bear is definitely ahead of that.

But, it still is in the back of mind the difference between the two. And it does worry me.

Bear is miles ahead of Monkey is physical abilities, though. You should see him throw and catch, trying to play with Monkey, who still doesn't get that you have to move your hands to catch or that you need to aim your throws. See, at least my awful habit of comparing runs both ways.

Ugh, I wish I could stop comparing my boys, but I just don't know how. To me, they are live examples of what "normal kids" look like, so much more real to me than what I read in books or even hear from experts.


Blogger Momma Bear said...

I totally hear ya momma! Thanks for the honesty. I do do this at times. I think I don't do it as much b/c I chalk it up to Will being a boy and Nora being a girl. And then theres Joseph who has walked to his own beat since birth...but perhaps if I were in your situation with three boys maybe I'd do it more.

February 20, 2009 at 2:41 PM  

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