Tuesday, 18 April 2017

The pressures of hitting milestones


Every child learns at their own pace is a phrase I hear an awful lot, in fact I was taught it when I was studying childcare at college back in 2007/08. So why is it when you have a child of your own that there is so much pressure on us parents for our children to meet their developmental milestones?

Isn't it time to start ending our obsession of our children meeting their milestones and actually let them do things at their own pace? Since the age of one when we had a one year review with the health visitor we were told Blake was a bit behind in most areas. 

This has meant constant reviews and filling in questionnaires every 6 months or so and referrals to different professionals. I was quite relaxed about Blake's development until others started to question why he wasn't walking (he did eventually at 19 months) and the questionnaires that the health visitor gave me didn't help with my worry about why he wasn't doing certain things. 

He was referred for a medical assessment which he passed and he was then discharged from. Then the health visitor become concerned about his lack of speech and so he was referred to see a speech therapist who we are seeing at the moment every 8 weeks or so. 
He has also had a hearing test which he passed and I had to undertake a chatter tots course last year for a few weeks to learn ways on which to help with his speech. 

I don't disagree with the need of having a developmental timeline to catch severe developmental delays and I can see how it can help many families. I just feel that there really is too much pressure and competitiveness for children being able to do the same thing as their peers. 

Blake was 19 months when he learnt to walk properly, some of his friends learnt at one year ,others around the 15 month mark. I feel as long as Blake is still learning even if he is a little behind his friends than that's OK.

I think it's time for us while they are little to enjoy kids being kids as at the end of the day. Once they start going to school that's when they will have to start thinking more about achieving things ready to be successful in life. 




32 comments:

  1. I will never agree into pushing a child to develop faster than his own rhythm. Children should enjoy their childhood and their play time. Developing later it's ok, there is no competition on who's first.

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  2. So we had our daughter in Singapore and because it was so expensive to visit the paedatrician (no NHS!) we basically had very little contact with anyone about milestones for the first year and quite honestly it was a blessing in disguise because having moved back here after she was one I can understand just how stressful the constant worrying about milestones must be. I was worried enough without the constant checks!

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  3. There is so much pressure on children and parents to meet their milestones. I have five children and know how different they all are, it's so important that we realise that every child develops at their own pace.

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  4. I couldn't agree more! Every child is different and they all get there in their own time and in their own little way :) x

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  5. I couldn't agree more. I am in a pregnancy due date group of 42 women. All our little ones are completely different. There really is no right or wrong. There's far too much pressure nowadays that didn't exist when I was little

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  6. Every kid learns at their own pace but there are averages. Hence the stress!

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  7. Not being a mum, I don't have the experience to tell you one way or another, but I do agree that all children develop at their own pace. At what point do you need to start worrying if they are behind is something I am probably not equipped to decide. I'm sure the added visits and paperwork really added to your worry and stress, along with the added testing of Blake. Hopefully all will be well and by the time he goes to preschool he will be caught up.

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  8. there really is a competitive nature to things isn't there? But they'll all learn to walk and talk, just takes time. I am the worst at comparing my two though - they're just so different!

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  9. I'm not a parent myself, but I can only imagine how tough it is with everyone's competitive mentality nowadays! I agree with you; I think it's so important to just let kids be little and go with the flow.

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  10. The pressures of parenting are so silly sometimes, yet a lot of that pressure we put on ourselves. Like you say, as long as our children are hitting milestones eventually then the exact timing shouldn't matter :)

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  11. I agree. When you stop focusing on what stage they should be at is when they grow the most successfully x

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  12. It's so hard isn't it, there's so much comparing of each other's babies. They do all even out eventually though!

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  13. I dont have children, but I bet many that do feel the same and those going through the same will feel comfort in reading this post :) x

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  14. I can see both points of view, both Sebby and Callan were late to walk and talk (they had siblings that did it all for them) but I knew they would catch up. As an early years worker I can see the benefits of these checks though as children have got extra assistance they need to help overcome problems. Yes, they all develop at a different rate, but sometimes they need a bit of extra help :)

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  15. Completely agree with you. I think we sometimes forget that every child is different and that they all learn at their own pace x

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  16. Every child is different, I totally agree, let them grow at their own pace.

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  17. This is tough. I think it's something we focus on a lot especially with a first child. When you are a more experienced parent and have more than one child it's easier to push back a bit and say you haven't got any concerns about their development if you know other children have reached milestones at different times

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  18. I think I'm quite chilled out about milestones, it will happen at its own rate. Matthew refused to mark make let alone try to write his name or read before starting school but now he is a book worm and flourishing writer

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  19. My mummy hates all the milestones that nurseries and institutions put on kids. Especially before school age. Let kids be kids. x

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  20. I agree with what you've said! It's good to have goals and track progress but there's no need to push young children into anything. They will grow and learn at their own pace.

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  21. That is so intense for you! My daughter was a late walker...just too busy chatting, and my son a late talker...too busy climbing! Everyone else has always been more worried than us, but now at 9 and 5 they are just the same as their peers...try not to worry.

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  22. Children develop at different rates, I know my friend's daughter is 1 and only has two teeth whereas another baby I know has quite a few and he is 8 months old. It depends on the child!

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  23. I think all of these milestones just adds pressure onto kids and their parents. xxx

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  24. Totally agree, each of our little ones develops in their own time, we are unique. Each of mine developed at different rates and I learnt after my first to let them grow without worrying that they weren't doing what my friends children were.

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  25. We're all different as human beings and it's no different with babies. Take the time to build on things that they're not as strong as!

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  26. I completely agree with this, children learn at their own pace!

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  27. We all work at different speeds. Great to have an 'idea' or guideline but kids should go as it works for them.

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  28. I totally agree with you here, I can't bare pushing kids too hard.

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  29. Such an honest blog post, thanks for sharing. He's such a cutie too!

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  30. Their is so much pressure on our kids now, especially from other parents and even other children too, boasting on what they can and cn not do! i saw a little boy in my daughters preschool, teasing another because he could not do something, totally usetting. Each child in dfferent, plain and simple.

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  31. It was must be truly worrying for parents and a stressor at that if they are constantly told the child should be doing this at this age. Let the child be and learn at its own pace

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  32. I think milestones can be helpful to keep a general eye on, but it's totally normal for them to be months apart from baby to baby, so it's a shame that they can can lead to totally unnecessary stress for some parents.

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