Friday, May 3, 2013

I compare my children.

There I said it. I do, I compare my kids to each other, to other kids, to animals, pretty much to everything.
I feel so guilty about it all the time to. When you become a parent you often get told "Don't compare your child to anyone else, they are all different . But its hard. You go to a play group and there are kids who are doing things totally different then yours and you have to wonder, is my kid normal??
I have always been one to compare children really though. Since Dexter has always been above average on the whole talking thing and started walking early I always would look at other kids and wonder why they weren't doing that. Even now that he is almost three when we go out and another kid is his age but isn't talking it really confuses me. Dexter never stops talking. From the moment he wakes up to the moment he goes to sleep talking. He can also do a lot for himself, pour a drink, put his dishes in the sink, put his dishes in his cupboard after they are cleaned.  He can dress himself, he is a very independent child, so when other children aren't that way its strange to me. On the other hand when another kid his age is way more physical and is climbing up on things with no hesitation or swining on a regular swing it scares me! Dexter has never been a super physical kid. He can run and has no fear but when it comes to climbing that is just not his thing.
But I never thought I would compare my own kids. This all really surfaced at Max's 8 month check up, he had fallen to the 25th % in height and weight and wasn't doing everything on their check list. It made me think, wasn't Dexter doing everything, wasn't he doing everything on the 12 month check list at 8 months? Wasn't he in the 90th%? Wasn't he already talking? I never thought I would feel bad because Max is so behind Dexter. But I do. And it has to make me wonder, am I not spending enough time with him? Do I not try as hard? Do I not read him as many books? Do I not talk to him enough? Have I become a bad mom? Most days I feel inadequate as a mom of two kids, one kid is always crying and Dexter is in this play with me all day phase so Max does get put on the back burner as long as I am holding him I feel like he is participating but is he really learning anything? I try to spend as much alone time with Max as I did with Dexter, but lets be honest its impossible  I have another kid!
I remind myself constantly they are different kids, but I cant help myself but compare them!
Do you compare your kids? Or am I the only crappy parent? haha


  1. Aww... hunny don't beat yourself up. Every kid is different which I'm sure you've heard more times than you can count. I understand how you feel. When the doctor gave me a weird look because Dex wasn't clapping I had so many things going through my head and even now I do because he still won't clap or he doesn't point or do all the things that some kids do that are like a month older than him. I guess he is just a laid back kind of kid. Maybe your Dexter just isn't into all that climbing stuff just like my dex isn't into clapping his hands, but will give you a high five! He will probably be doing it before you know it. :)

  2. Ours came the opposite way-- Jeffy was off the charts as far as height and weight but really struggled to talk and communicate and since he was so big and behind that way he appeared quite slow and sometimes even dumb. Then along comes Katey who is smart as a whip and started speaking in sentences almost before Jeffy did. And she was small for her age so the differences between them were very obvious.

    That said they have kind of met in the middle more these days. Jeffy has improved dramatically with his speech and communication and Katey's gotten bigger etc. And I don't think it was what I did as a parent. Probably a little but mostly I think it was just who they were/are.

    Don't worry that Max doesn't do all the things on their list yet. Just be aware of it so if he gets really behind you can jump on it but kids (and adults!) are so different that limiting a kid to specific timeline for learned skills seems silly. Anyways good luck. :)

  3. I think there is a good side to comparing, like with everything it can go too far. It's good to notice their differences, so that we can tend to their individual needs; that's just good parenting. However, you don't want to end up saying "your brother made an A in this class, why did you get a B?" or one child might learn to play guitar, while another learns baseball. A parent should encourage both, and not make one child feel like his talents are less valuable than another's.

    Max seems to like more hands-on engagement, and Dexter seems to be more analytical. I think Max is barely behind where Dexter was, but that's ok. Actually, I don't think Dexter really used sippy cups until after 1 year, and Max has been for a while now. He DOES like his food... I have been trying to be more interacting with Max lately, he's quite a funny little guy.