July 28, 2014

Competition and Comparisons

I participate in a few groups online, specific to disability issues. One is special needs in general and another is specifically for apraxia (Childhood Apraxia of Speech or CAS). We all need people to vent with, or ask for advice, but sometimes I think some parents cause their own stress for nothing.

One was complaining because her two year old refuses to feed himself. He eats, but only as long as she feeds it to him.

Now first of all, I'll admit I have little sympathy for any parent who complains their child is eating food at all. Try living with a kid who eats like, nothing, and get back to me.

So I told her I still feed my almost 5 year old and big whoop, he'll figure out a fork and spoon whenever. Or never. Whatever. Maybe he'll use chop sticks or a paring knife, I don't really care as long as he eats FOOD.

Because guess what? The way my child eats will not change the world. No one will die if he uses his fingers.

don't sweat the small stuff by OneQuarterMama.ca

Now of course I don't mean, just forget about all milestones and developmental issues and never get therapy. On the contrary, by all means, continue to help support and teach him, but in the meantime, don't lose sleep over silly little things that really don't change your life all that much.

Does feeding a kid take more time? Sure, but last I checked, I wasn't in some sort of arbitrary parenting competition where we have to feed our kids the fastest or die. I became a parent knowing sh*t takes time and I can't keep the same old carefree lifestyle of the past. So yes, meals might feel like they take "forever" and you'll end up with cereal all over the couch. C'est la vie.
Parenting is not a competition!

Then she says she's stressing because it's her non-disabled kid who is slower. So she's comparing the two and it bothers her. Another mistake! Don't compare people. Everyone is different. Problem solved!

So that's my parenting advice of the day - forget the two Cs: Competition and Comparisons. Just let it go and get a good night's sleep... if your kids let you. That's another issue :)

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