Every child is different
As parents, we are constantly comparing our children to others. Whilst this can be a source of great pride, it can also become a source of worry that something is wrong with our child or that we are doing something wrong as parents.
Every child is different. Children develop differently, have different personalities, possess different strengths and require different kinds of support to meet their individual needs.
All children develop at their own pace and in their own way
Children grow and develop at different rates. While their developmental pathways may differ, most pass a set of predictable milestones along the way. It is normal for children to experience developmental spurts and slow spots in different areas of their development over time. If your child is a little ahead or a little behind at a certain age - this is normal. Most of the time, given the right nurturing and stimulation, all children will catch up in the end.
All children have different strengths and vulnerabilities. Some are good at sport, others music. Some are very academic and others not. Some are highly anxious and others are more relaxed. Some children are good sleepers and others wake through the night for years.
Feeling confident that you are on the right track
Many parents are feeling under increasing pressure to ‘get their parenting right’. Others feel under increasing pressure to do well in raising their children who in turn are expected to succeed in school, recreation and employment.
Many parents feel that parenting doesn’t come naturally to them.
Parents often lack confidence to know they are parenting in a way that best meets their individual child’s needs. Many parents feel judged by others about their parenting approach. These experiences can leave parents feeling alone and isolated. Many feel that no other parent is going through similar experiences.
These are all common feelings and experiences.
You are not alone
The task of parenting is a constantly changing one as the growing needs and abilities of our children change over time. There is no ‘one-size fits all’ way to parent. What works for one child may not work for another. What worked when children were two years old may not work when they are four.
Adaptability and flexibility are key ingredients to parenting.
It is normal to lack confidence in your parenting at some time. Share your experiences with other parents, friends and family. You will find you are not alone.
Sharing common experiences can reassure you that you are ‘on the right track’ and give you improved confidence.
Trust that you know your child better than anyone else.
Finally, avoid comparing your child to others
If you are concerned about your child or need support with your parenting seek assistance. This is a sign of strength, not a weakness.