You’ve been told over and over “don’t compare your children to others”. I try not to. But I do have two children with speech delays and considered “Special Ed”. For me, it’s hard NOT to compare! My kids are sociable, and friendly, but lack the ability to communicate properly.
My oldest had back to back ear infections and loss of hearing when she was around 18 months old. She finally has ear tubes inserted and later adenoids removed. She had speech therapy in NY and she was fortunate enough to attend Transitional Kindergarten here in CA and had therapy there. Now you can understand every word, and carry on a conversation with her. A year ago this was nearly impossible.
My son, on the other hand, has a speech delay, but not because of ear infections, his is due to a Superior Pharyngeal Flap. This flap causes air to escape through his nose when he speaks, causing him to have a severe nasal sound and many times the ending of words is left off! He gets speech therapy through the school district and at a private therapist. While he has improved, it is still hard to understand him at times. He will have surgery to correct this before he starts Pre-School in September.
So as you can see, I always wonder when other kids started talking. My third child talks a lot more, but still not what other kids do…see there I am comparing again! It’s everywhere!
It all starts at birth. Mom’s love to tell their birth stories and compare the size of their kids, or brag about they were in labor for 32 hours. (I personally have to bragging rights to long labors). Next comes the Pediatrician’s Office, where they take your kid’s measurements and COMPARE them to all other kids their age! Yep, there is your kids stats on a chart being compared with other kids. Then more bragging rights, like it’s a badge of honor; “My kid is in the 90th percentile….” You’ve heard it. It’s like they are proving their kid is somehow smarter than everyone else’s because of his/her size. (Again, I have no bragging rights to this since two out of four kids are not even ON the charts). The purpose of these charts are not to compare children, or gain bragging rights, they are there so Pediatricians can see HOW your child is growing. Generally if a child deviates severely up or down the chart, there could be a cause for concern. It is a tool that Dr’s have adopted and use. Boys and Girls grow differently as do breastfed and formula fed babies.
“A growth chart is used by pediatricians and other health care providers to follow a child’s growth over time. Growth charts have been constructed by observing the growth of large numbers of normal children over time. The height, weight, and head circumference of a child can be compared to the expected parameters of children of the same age and sex to determine whether the child is growing appropriately. Growth charts can also be used to predict the expected adult height and weight of a child because, in general, children maintain a fairly constant growth curve. When a child deviates from his or her previously established growth curve, investigation into the cause is generally warranted.” (Wikipedia)
So there you go. Kids develop on their own schedule. Genetics play a HUGE role in not only hair, eye and height but other important factors. The next time you find yourself comparing your kid to another kid on the street, in church or school, remember this! We all grow at our own pace. It does not mean your kid is smarter (or dumber) than the rest, or that you are a bad parent because you should of read more or should not have skipped that vitamin, or whatever runs mad through every mother head…STOP. Moms have enough on their minds and carry enough guilt for stupid things, like personal choices. Just be thankful you are a mom and are doing the best YOU can. If your child is happy, then you have done a great job!