At some point during the life of your child, you have no doubt wondered if he or she is accomplishing life’s goals on schedule. We have all more than likely read articles, searched the web, watched videos, or listened. Listened to someone tell us at what age children begin to reach milestones in their lives. And then the parent, myself included wonder why my child isn’t on course.
We are told, through media or otherwise, what age is appropriate. Appropriate for sitting up, pulling up, standing, walking, talking, and the list goes on. Hello, has anybody ever realized, everybody is different. The difference is certainly not limited to toddlers.
Now, on the other hand, are you a boastful parent who loudly states, “guess what our 2-month-old is now doing?” Don’t be an obnoxious parent. Hello again! Nobody likes an obnoxious parent.
It simply does not matter. Each child is different. Each child will ‘do’ the stuff they are supposed to do when the time is right. And if you don’t think the time is right, you may cause stress in your child. Then you have more problems.
But what if it’s just obvious the child should be doing something, and they’re not. I’m not talking about a 35-year-old son still living with mom and dad.
I’m talking about the stuff which makes you wonder, is my toddler a late bloomer?
They Will Play to Their Strength
We are all born with some sort of talent. It may present itself early in life, or it may be later. Either way, we are all good at something. Your toddler is no different. They, too, have a hidden talent.
Some toddlers walk and then run at a very early age. Those children usually are more athletically inclined.
Parents who worry about their child’s development take note. If your child is not one of these individuals, don’t worry. They are probably very skilled in watching other children and learning from their mistakes. These children are often far more successful. See, your little fortune 500 CEO hasn’t even learned to sit up yet. And it’s okay.
Are You Overprotective?
Don’t be the parent who does everything for your child if they are trying to pick up something, and having trouble. Let them. If you constantly do the things for them they need to be doing, why would they even try?
Allow them the opportunity of learning life’s mechanics. Don’t always rush to their rescue.
My dad told a joke about a child who was ten-years-old and had never said a word. One day he asked his mom for something to eat. She was amazed. “We thought you couldn’t even speak, why all of a sudden did you start?” the boy replied, “well, up until now everything was going my way.”
You could have one of these if everything goes his way without him having to learn otherwise.
Big Brother Big Sister
The same goes for older siblings. They love to do stuff for the baby of the family. They view it as a way of helping mom out. To a degree, it’s okay. But not when the older child does it all.
And sometimes, an older child may get frustrated about the speed in which the toddler operates. Then they end up doing the task themselves. Not a win-win. Not even close.
Just explain to the older child how much you appreciate and need their help, but let the baby do some activities on his own. Let them now how independent they were and what a good baby they were. Then tell them you want the same for the little one.
It could be an awesome moment between you, the older child, and the toddler.
Was the Baby a Preemie?
A baby born prematurely is under the gun from day one. And day two. And…well you get the idea. The deck is stacked against them. Parents of premature infants are also under the gun. They worry—about everything.
And rightfully so. The care and attention a premature baby needs are nerve-wracking at best. Often the child, when older, will be a bit behind others in their progressive learning ability. And it doesn’t mean they will always be behind.
Premature children are often the children in which the parents unknowingly overprotect. We have already discussed over protection. But with them being naturally behind the parents shouldn’t create further problems.
It does seem, however, premature children will ‘catch-up’ with other children sooner or later. Just be happy the little preemie made it!
Reasons to Be Concerned
There are exceptions. There are times a parent should be concerned. Some milestones are causes to worry if they are more than three months late. Here are some of those areas for concern:
- The child doesn’t respond to direct communications
- The child is ‘late’ in more areas than just one
- The child has not reached the milestone within three months
If you ask a direct question such as, “what do you want to eat?” and you don’t get even a pointing finger but a blank stare, then it may be time for a doctor visit.
Also, if your toddler is having trouble interacting with children his or her age, it may be a bit deeper than just ‘late blooming.’ It is always best to be safe than sorry. So do not hesitate to consult with the child’s doctor in any of these areas should you be concerned.
Sometimes a child simply accomplishes their developmental milestones a bit later than other children. And it’s not a big deal. As mentioned, they simply may be observing. They may be one of those people who pay close attention to detail. And for what it’s worth, the world could use more people like those.
Late bloomers or not, as always, give them lots of love and affection.