Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Is parenthood a competition or are parents just proud of their children's achievements?

I have heard a lot recently about people saying that raising children is a competition. Do people really do this or do parents of slower children feel like this because they are embarrassed about their children?

As a mom of two wonderful bright children I love to brag about their accomplishments. They make me so happy and I am just filled with joy when they accomplish a new skill. Even if it is Rowan getting on all fours next to Kiernan saying "Ready, Set, GOOOO". Then crawling as fast as she can across the floor looking back to see if Kiernan is chasing her.

My goal as a mom is to raise a happy, healthy, well rounded little girl. She loves to play outside, get dirty, examine bugs, look for fossils, paint, color, swim, read, learn new words, learn to read and sing, etc. If she wants to learn to read, sing, count whatever it may be I will provide the means for her to do so. In no way will I hold her back in her achievements because for her AGE she is not ready. If she says she is ready she is ready. Just because the developmental chart says she should not be doing this yet I will not hold her back.

Speaking of developmental charts. Child development refers to the biological and psychological changes that occur in human beings between birth and the end of adolescence, as the individual progresses from dependency to increasing autonomy. Because these developmental changes may be strongly influenced by genetic factors and events during prenatal life, genetics and prenatal development are usually included as part of the study of child development. Related terms include "developmental psychology", referring to development throughout the lifespan and "pediatrics", the branch of medicine relating to the care of children. Developmental change may occur as a result of genetically-controlled processes known as maturation, or as a result of environmental factors and learning, but most commonly involves an interaction between the two.

Piaget was a French speaking Swiss theorist who posited that children learn through actively constructing knowledge through hands-on experience. He suggested that the adult's role in helping the child learn was to provide appropriate materials for the child to interact and construct. He would use Socratic questioning to get the children to reflect on what they were doing. He would try to get them to see contradictions in their explanations. He also developed stages of development. His approach can be seen in how the curriculum is sequenced in schools, and in the pedagogy of preschool centers across the United States.

Although developmental change runs parallel with chronological age, age itself cannot cause development. The basic mechanisms or causes of developmental change are genetic factors and environmental factors. Genetic factors are responsible for cellular changes like overall growth, changes in proportion of body and brain parts, and the maturation of aspects of function such as vision and dietary needs. Because genes can be "turned off" and "turned on", the individual's initial genotype may change in function over time, giving rise to further developmental change. Environmental factors affecting development may include both diet and disease exposure, as well as social, emotional, and cognitive experiences. However, examination of environmental factors also shows that young human beings can survive within a fairly broad range of environmental experiences.

Developmental charts should be used as a guideline to your child's educational process. Everything they do at this age is educational. Even if it is brushing a doll's hair, reading a book on their own, stacking blocks, putting shapes into like shape holes, or singing to the radio are all ways they are learning. If you don't know what they should be learning at a specific point you cannot provide the items for them to learn with.

Are videos for children the enemy? NO if you use them appropriately and not as a babysitter. Our Signing Time videos have taught us both to sign. When Rowans speech was not as clear and you could not understand some words. When she learned the sign for that word we finally understood what she was saying. It was a blessing for us, she increased her vocabulary and our understanding. Now Rowan communicates to me from across the room. OR when she is eating she will sign more please instead of talking with her mouth full. The your baby can read videos have helped broaden her vocabulary more and taught her how to sing to songs. She can recognize about 20 words and strives to learn to read more words.

In lances opinion is that if the girls want to learn to read early then lets encourage them. He has too many students that read on a 4-6th grade level in 10th grade!!! If this is what you call average he does not want to have average children.

So why so much debate on what your child should be doing at a specific age. Cant we just be proud of our children and not get jealous of other moms and their kids development. Your child will grow at their own pace. If you listen to them they will tell you what they are ready for and you can provide what they need to learn that skill. Expose them to many things and help them learn to the best of their abilities.


  1. Girl you know they're just jealous like you said! I think it's WONDERFUL that Ro does so well!!

  2. Yes, just pure jealousy and I think a total acceptance of mediocrity and subnormal levels of ability.