One thing I have noticed a lot of lately is parents questioning when their child should…
“When should we get rid of the pacifier?”
“When should my child be potty trained?”
There are others, but these seem to be the big questions I see a lot of lately; so I thought I would share the pressure of when our child should – regardless of what that should is.
Now, I am no expert (is there such a thing when it comes to kids and parenting!?), but I really have to wonder why we as parents stress out so darn much about these things and then I realize – society makes us feel guilty or judges us for doing what we feel is right for our children.
When Buddy was 2, the pediatrician made a big deal about him losing the pacifier right then.
When I originally wrote this post, Addy was one month shy of 2 years old and still had her pacifier with no end in sight. In fact, she didn’t lose her pacifier until Christmas Eve of 2015 – she was almost 3 years old!
At the time of originally writing this post, I had a friend who’s son had his pacifier and he was going to be 3 in May and another friend who’s son was 4 and had a pacifier.
You hear people potty training their kids under the age of 2 using the “3 day potty method”. These days, that is acceptable and ‘norm’ whereas my children who potty trained at 3 1/2 years are ‘behind’.
When I am pondering the pressure of when our child should… I am reminded of my mother in law’s words:
“Have you ever seen a kindergartner…”
Have you ever seen an atypical kindergartner wearing diapers? (I say atypical because I know there are certain circumstances and development delays that can be cause for a kindergartner to wear diapers. That is an entirely different situation.)
Have you ever seen a kindergartner with their pacifier?
Again, I haven’t. A thumb or finger maybe, but we can’t cut those off to help them stop that habit.
As parents, we stress over what we think our children should be doing or what another child is doing or not doing.
As parents, we really need to give ourselves credit, but we really need to stop comparing our parenting skills and our children to other parents and other children.
Every parent, every child, and every family is different.
My kid isn’t your kid and your kid isn’t my kid. My parenting isn’t your parenting and it doesn’t need to be just like your parenting isn’t my parenting and it shouldn’t be.
Whatever works for one may not work for another so please, stop worrying about what your child should and just go with what feels natural to you.
This isn’t a competition – it’s life. It’s parenting. We all get to where we need to be when we get there. What’s that saying – it’s not how we get there, it’s the journey.
Live life. Savor the memories.