I was having a typical mom conversation with one of my mommy friends, you know, how our kids used swear words in the right context. Swear words that we have no idea where they heard let alone learned how to use them correctly. (ʘ_ʘ) But it got me thinking.
Parents brag on Facebook when their toddlers have gone to the doctor and not only received a clean bill of health but excelled on the intellectual growth chart, as well. There's so much pressure on kids to be smart, to exceed what's considered "normal." There's nothing wrong with being proud of your kids, heck, I've been that parent posting on Facebook but when does it stop? When is enough, enough?
From the moment an infant takes their first breath outside of mommies uterus, the rat race begins. Literally, everything they do is analyzed. Are they eating enough, pooping enough, stretching enough, responding to sites and sounds, the list goes on and on. From the moment they leave that warm, cozy place where nothing else matters besides nourishment and growth, we're nagging them to absorb copious amounts of information, to be the smartest, to excel in every area. The slightest deviation from "normal" and we're encouraged to find solutions to close the gap. Speech therapy, physical therapy, socialization groups, tummy time, etc. We're constantly striving for this idealistic and impossible to obtain, idea of perfection. When are kids allowed to just be kids? When should we just step back and let nature take its course, let then grow and develop at their own speed rather than a speed we set for them?
I remember when Shelby was smaller and the doctor pointed out a head-tilt to my husband and I, at one of her wellness visits. Of course, all the what-ifs started running through my head like a heard of scared antelope, but rather than starting physical therapy, which was suggested, we decided to let Shelby sort her head-tilt out on her own. We followed instructions provided by her physician for ways we could help her at home; stretches we could do and activities that would strengthen her neck muscles. Within a few weeks, Shelby's head-tilt was nearly gone.
Every child is not going to fit into the same box. We all learn differently and at different speeds. I learn best by doing, a hands-on kind of absorption. My co-workers are visual learners. The point is that while I am no expert, I do think we need to take a step back and stop trying to make our kids fit into this idealistic box. This applies to school testing, too. (Oh I know, I just opened Pandora's box). For another post, at a later date...
What do you guys think? Am I way off?