Are you a pushy parent?
In a world of competitive parenting that I have found myself thrust into I found myself wondering when does this sudden rush of competitiveness come from?
I’m fairly relaxed with Isabelle and she does things at her own pace and when I get asked “is she doing this yet?” and I reply with “not just yet” there always seems to be an answer along the lines of “well so-and-so was/has been doing it since they were such an age” I understand that parents have every right to be proud of their child and their child’s achievements but where do you draw the line?
At play group I often find that there is a very strong competitive vibe and you can see parents checking out what other children can do. I am proud of my daughter and she goes at her own pace, she might not be walking yet but at 12 months old I really do not see it as a big deal.
On a few occasions now whilst at our regular play group, whilst Isabelle has been playing with one of her friends whom I shall call “little red” other parents have passed comments. Little red is a lovely little girl and is exactly a month younger than Isabelle. At the age of 10 months she started to walk but she has always been a very strong child. Now if you put the two children together she is noticeably a lot smaller than Isabelle (not that being smaller gives her an advantage) but being smaller this somehow makes it look more spectacular to onlookers. Isabelle and Little Red don’t notice a difference over who can do what and when playing together they could not care less.
I dislike boasting about my child when I am told what another parents child can do. She has her moments where she wows me and then there are times when she is pottering around with a blanket over her head bumping into things because it’s fun. Which brings me to my whole point, it’s all about having fun with your child not worrying that their peers are doing something they are not or even doing it better. She is a happy child (when she isn’t teething) and I would not have it any other way.
Isabelle is great with her speech and at 12 months old can already say 15 words and it amazes me, she learns something new pretty much every day she makes me so proud to be a parent. Even when she has me tearing my hair out over her love for climbing and mischief. She’s very active and never still but I still get excited when she learns something new like walking whilst holding onto mine with one hand, or even those 3 little steps that she occasionally does by herself. Much to Isabelle’s annoyance I still get excited when she uses her spork to feed herself and when she stands up unaided. I love to hear other parents tell me when their child has done something and would never think of belittling it, I feel privileged to be able to share in their excitement.
Now I have never pushed Isabelle into doing something, we have helped her but it’s all been at her own pace. Admittedly when she was learning to roll we occasionally gave her a helping hand and when she was leaning to crawl we spent a lot of time on our hands and knees to show her how it was done (these attempts were futile though as she developed her own unique crawling style) At 12 months there’s not really much that I could think of forcing her to do but I have seen many of older children with extremely competitive parents even when it comes to their child finger painting.
Only time will tell if I become a pushy parent…………..