“Your kid isn’t Potty Trained yet?”
“Why does he still sleep with a Paci?”
“Has she said her first word?”
“Is he sight reading?”
Sound familiar? At least as a society we’re not bred to categorically demean each other’s kids based on their aptitude for learning or overall physicality.
How many times do you find yourself in a bidding war with your friends (both deliberately and not) over who’s kid is more advanced? You both then walk away thinking, “well at least he/she is better at _______.” Or “at least he/she can _______.”
The best part, is that even when you realize it, you still don’t really care? Right? I mean, at the end of the day you might feel kind of bad for your thoughts, but you only share them with your significant other anyway!
A few nights ago my son gave up his paci. It wasn’t an issue. We bribed him with the stuffed animal of his newest of the newest show, if he simply gave up his paci. He wanted to sleep with it, so he gave us his paci and went to sleep. No fighting, no crying. My older son also gave up his paci without crying or looking back. Sounds like the dream right? Ah… But it was my older boy’s 3rd Birthday and my little guy is a month out from his 3rd as well.
We heard all the time, “he shouldn’t still have that paci”, “that’s going to ruin his teeth”. Well guess what? We fight about enough with our kids. This wasn’t a battle we chose to fight! Game – Set – Match! While you were sitting outside your kid’s door arguing with each other about who has to go in next to comfort little Johnny or Sally (who’ll still probably need braces anyway, let’s face it)… we were not! (Only because we were probably sitting outside their door arguing about something else… but that’s not the point!)
Our older son was a little over 3 when he was Potty Trained as well. We tried at 3. He fought us terribly. We tried 3 months later, no accidents at all. Our little guy isn’t ready so we’re not going to push there either.
They all end up in the same place, right? So why force things that don’t need to be forced. I understand the health & mental ramifications of extending some of these issues/habits into the long-term, but why shouldn’t we let our kids decide when they are more ready than not?
With so much out there that we can fight about, Behavior, Mealtime, Bedtime, Sharing, why add stress and negativity to things that will most likely resolve themselves more easily as our kids mature? Why not just enjoy the adorableness of your child sleeping and sucking on their paci. Why not see, for a little while longer, the wonder in her eyes as she continues to surprise herself by sounding out another word. Why not relish in the extra time you get to spend with him as he has to practice longer and harder than others to throw a ball?
I called my blog DadsDontJudge for a reason. As my [real] inaugural post, it occurred to me that I wanted to focus on the things that I’m judged on most. The truth is… when you judge me, I don’t care. I’m proud of my kids. I’m proud of who they are, what they do, how they do it and why they do it. I’m proud when my son uses his wit to talk back to me (I’m not happy about it, but it shows his intelligence). I’m proud when my little guy launches a toy across the room at his older brother (again, not happy about it, but damn, does he have an arm). I’m especially proud when they stand up for each other no matter what the circumstances.
You’re proud of your kids too, of that I’m sure! So let’s just cut out the competition, this isn’t the Olympics of Parenting. Let’s all agree that they grow up in their own time at their own pace. We can nudge them a little or a lot, but they’re all going to end up in the same place! Go at your own pace!
** Let me know what you think of my first post! Don’t judge my grammar either… I get a little Exclamation Point happy sometimes, but at least I know it!!!!