Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Someone Else's Middle

As a parent, we are constantly asked to compare our kids to a standard, to the national average, even to each other!  There's not a week that goes by, I'm sure, that we don't wonder if our child is "where they're supposed to be" and up to par with other kids their age.  So, the concern is healthy and normal because if there is something wrong we want to and need to know about it.

The problem is when there really isn't a problem and yet we're pushing and worrying because we noticed someone else's kid performing a task our child hasn't even thought of yet.  I try not to be that parent.  Really I do, but that doesn't mean I don't notice things.  We got a hand-me-down train table a few months ago for Jude to go along with a new train set.  He was super excited about it at first, but as things went, he just didn't seem to know what to do with it.  I tried not to worry and hoped he'd get the hang of it.  Last week, before he had even eaten breakfast (which if you know him, you know he must be super excited), he was telling stories about the engines, putting tracks together and occupied for sooo long!

Yes, I guess, be excited that he's developing, but my point really is that so much happens on its own as long as the right elements are available.  Food, sleep, nutrients, attention, touch, love, time are all key elements that can inhibit development when they are lacking.  So, yes, in that way there is work that HAS to go into every child for sure.  But in the realm of 'first world problems', some of us get way too hung up on all the milestones and "how to prepare your child for X".  Give them plenty of opportunities to play with other kids, read to them like crazy, and play, PLAY, PLAY.

I'm continually surprised at children's development when you allow them to work at their own pace.  And, yes, though our society doesn't really practice it, that goes for adults too.  Instead of comparing yourself or someone else to where they should  be, highlight where they are beginning!  Encourage.  Demonstrate.  Give it some time. And then let people explore.  Who knows where we'd be if we just listened to everyone's natural pace.  

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Looking for Love

Sometimes, whether single or married, we look to be loved by others, but grow frustrated and ultimately disappointed.  "Are we unloveable? What's wrong with me?" we ask.  And yes, married people are just as guilty of this as single - maybe more!

Consider this: Could we be loved and just not see it as love? Women and men define love differently.  Children are loved differently from family to family.  The other day my husband hadn't been very affectionate or wordy in regards to our relationship or his feelings for me.  One might say he's not loving me.  Oh, but did I mention that despite a mound of homework and reading needing his attention, he spent a large part of his time off digging a trench for a new garden all FOR ME?

It's often termed as love language.  Do you know your friends' and family's love language? Take some time to think about it.  You might be surprised at how much you really are loved once you get the language right!

Here's a handy resource for determining and accomodating a child's love language:
Not sure what your language is? Visit The 5 Love Languages and take their quiz to find out!