We are living in a world where everyone competes to be the best.
The parenting world is no different. You can sit at a parent and toddler group every week and listen to the many conversations all about what each child has achieved. “So and so has started potty training early”. “well so and so can say a whole sentence now”. Then come the awkward questions “how about your son, is he sleeping through the night yet?” “Oh, is she still in nappies?”
You can stand in the school playground and listen to endless conversations about other people’s children. How so and so is in the swimming gala or won the latest competition. So and so has moved into the top reading group, it goes on and on.
Then there are the “problems” that other parents have, “So and so was five minutes late coming in last night” “so and so struggled with question six on the homework”.
Some parents would love those “problems”! While some children struggled with one question, others were screaming for hours at the thought of homework. While some children were late coming in, others will never go out alone.
Some parents are sat in playgroup wondering if their child will ever even say “mum”. Others if they will ever be able to potty train.
Some parents are stood alone in the playground worried that their child can’t read or write and hoping they just “got through” the day without a meltdown.
Playgroups and playgrounds can be pretty lonely places for parents of children with special needs. We need to remember that every child is different. Life isn’t a competition. When one child learns to read their first book, another might have said “mum” for the first time. When one child can ride a bike another might have managed to eat a new food. Lets celebrate it all!
Don’t feel sad if you can’t relate to where other children are up to and similarly be mindful of those who may not be where you are yet. Every child is different, lets learn to celebrate the small things!
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