Sunday, November 30, 2014

Day 85- My Child vs. Others (Point of Comparison) Part 1

In these series I will be walking the point of comparison with children. 

The first time I recall comparing my son to other children was when he was about 2 months old and he was making these steps when I picked him up straight and placed him on the ground. I remember feeling so proud that somehow this showed that he will be an early walker (I later found out that this was a reflex some babies have when moving their feet and has got nothing to do with walking). It was then that it began the idea that just because I am a teacher I will be a very good parent and that my child will be exceeding in all developmental areas. So while I thought his reflex was something special I had this proud feeling within me that my child is doing very good in developing gross motor skills and that him being an early walker would somehow represent ME as I am doing my job as a parent (that reflected the role of a teacher). I even thought he was going to skip the crawling stage and move on straight to walking. Eventually he did crawl and then walk- and he was an average walker as he started at 11 months and mastered it by 12.5 months.
Another thing that pushed me on the early walking thing was my mom telling me that I was an early walker so for some reason that meant that Victor will be too. I felt a bit frustrated when he was not walking yet at 10 months. This was all subconscious as I was not very aware that I was experiencing this comparison. It felt “normal” playing the teacher role because that is my job and since I worked with toddles/infants prior to becoming pregnant- I gave myself the credit that I knew what I was doing because I had the experience which gave me a point of comparison to Victor and to what I have seen at my work (at the time). It's interesting because since working with Pre-K now I catch myself having projections as to what my son will be like in Pre-K in comparison to the children I teach now.

Another development area I was comparing my son was/is fine motor. At first he had no interest in picking up a marker/crayon/paint brush so immediately I was worried that he will not be developing his fine motor good- so I kept pushing him to draw and he kept rejecting it which of course created a frustration within me. Now he loves to draw/paint and the comparison has moved from: “he will be terrible in fine motor” to “LOOK my son is good (or where he should be according to the stages of child development) at fine motor”. And of course I am happy for him but again my starting point is in comparison to others and in that it is like showing off.
Basically I notice now that the point of comparison comes from my experience with the children at work (past or present) which means that if I see a child who is not where they are supposed to be, misbehaving, not cleaning up....all the negative things I have seen/experience with children I have reflected it to my son and set it as a point of comparison- is my son like those children or is he developing his skills “good” (whether it is in fine-gross motor/ social emotional, types of interests, how he plays, cleaning up, sharing, giving well developed answers, talking well, communicating effectively). I guess it all come down to how I see a child as being successful or not- because if they are lacking any of those skills they are setting themselves back in certain areas. I notice that I am looking at all these areas mostly as a teacher, so what kind of child is my son and will he be a “good” learner at school or someone who is struggling, giving trouble. As a teacher what kind of students would I like to have in my class- that is the kind of child my son has to be- the type I would enjoy to have in my classroom (from a teacher perspective). 

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