If you’re a parent, you surely know about developmental milestones. You know, the ones that say your kid should roll over at 3 months, sit at 6 months, and walk at 1 year. If not, click here to see what the CDC says about the topic. Now that you’ve recapped, are you one of those parents that overly obsess over these milestones? Are you frantic, stressed, or feeling anxious that your child might be behind? If so, STOP; and here is why you should.
Comparing our children to others is perfectly normal. It’s always been done and it’s not going to stop. You don’t need to rush out to have your child’s IQ tested or get them labeled “gifted”. Don’t be tempted into buying that $1.99 app that tracks your child’s development either. If you click around the app store on your device you will see all sorts that chart fetal development, motor skills, speech, vision, etc. These seem like a great idea, but they are marketed in a way to keep you obsessed. By allowing an algorithm to tell you where your child “should” be only serves to unnerve. Trust your instincts. You know your child best.
I challenge you to change the way you think about your child’s development. Development isn’t a stair step of incremental changes over time. It’s better described as a ramp. As your child grows and develops, they may or may not hit the CDC defined targets for some milestones. And guess what? That’s okay. Just because your child didn’t roll over until 4 months and didn’t walk until after a year old, it’s not an indicator of their place in society as an adult or SAT scores. Let me repeat. Your child’s milestones are not an indicator of future success.
Being overly obsessed with your child’s development isn’t a good thing, but taking a lackadaisical approach is even worse. As a parent, just pay attention and ask questions. If you see two or more milestones that your child just hasn’t hit yet, speak to your pediatrician. As a matter of fact, have this entire conversation with your pediatrician so that you have a clear understanding of what’s “normal” and what may need assessing. What you don’t need to do is hop on the internet and look for all the answers yourself. Trust your instincts and the surrounding professionals, like your pediatrician. More times than not, your child is going to be just fine.