Posted by: Roseann Murphy | June 30, 2011

Competing for what?

 Without thinking it can happen anywhere. A friend comes over for a visit and is shocked to see your eight month old baby is not walking. Her baby was walking actually ‘running’ by eight months…and the nagging doubt begins. What is the matter with my child? Without thinking of the ramifications, a father might say with pride, “this is my smart one,” when introducing his daughter as his son stands quietly in the background. His look says it all. As educators and parents we hear these conversations everywhere. The question remains how do we become more conscious of the problems that occur when comparing siblings and friends. How do we become more sensitive to labels and comparison?
Magdalena Palencia’s latest article addresses this subject with a clear and concise understanding of the issues and offers helpful guidelines for parents and those working with children on a daily basis.

-Roseann Murphy


Competing for what?

A common and natural practice for many parents is to judge the progress of their child by comparing them to their peers. Parents become anxious if, for example, their child does not start to walk or talk at the same time as other children. While such an approach is somewhat logical, unnecessary expectations and pressures on a child to do things they are simply not ready to do could end up negatively affecting their development on different levels. 

It is important to recognize that all children are not the same and that each will require a unique amount of time to learn and grow naturally. Parents must learn to exercise patience and instead of trying to nudge them to be like their peers. They should focus more on learning to carefully observe them.

Parents can learn to better address the needs expressed by the child through close observation. In this way, a parent takes an active role in facilitating and accommodating a child’s natural development without forcing them to perform tasks they are not developed to undertake. Even if it is possible to teach a child different skills such as walking, by putting them in a walker parents are altering the natural process of neural development that…Click to read more at Magdalena S. Palencia’s Bilingual Blog.

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