…Is that children don’t come with a manual! Now this used to be said in a manner that meant, “just get on with it”, or use female relatives for advice. And by and large children developed as expected and no one really worried too much about “developmental milestones”.
Nowadays, they still don’t come with a manual but there is such a vast quantity of information available that maybe it would be easier if they did! Doctor Google leaves you paranoid about every medical condition, BabyCentre makes you worry about the dreaded “milestones”, and all the Facebook and Instagram perfect pictures make you wonder where you went wrong.
The truth is, if you’re worrying about “what went wrong” then chances are you’re doing everything right. You care. You notice. Generations before us didn’t have social media and the internet to guide/panic them in the way we do today…and we all turned out alright didn’t we?
If I were to write a parenting manual it would be quite simple:
Congratulations on entering the crazy world of parenthood. It’s hard, it’s fun; it’s judgemental, it’s caring. Do your own thing. Love your child, keep them happy, healthy, and safe.
Yes there are obviously ages where children are “expected” to achieve certain goals – crawling, talking, etc, but if your child is a few months either side of these then so what? So long as there are no medical concerns surrounding the child then chances are, everything will come when they are ready.
Those of you who know me, and know Little Bear, might think it’s easy for me to say this when he has been pretty “textbook” so far in his short life, but for me, I’m just as guilty as anyone for making comparisons against “expert charts” and picture perfect lifestyles.
We all want the best for our children, and want them to become well balanced, well mannered, and happy. I just worry the the internet is making those benchmarks feel increasingly unattainable.