I think every parent (even more so in first timers) has a fear that their child could have a delay or disability. It's a fact there are children with special needs and it's just so easy to find ourselves obsessing over what's perceived and touted as the norm. With the Internet and Dr. Google at our fingertips we can create illusions and dilemmas where there isn't one.
Over the last two years I've slowly come to the realization that theses developmental milestones are only a guide. Kids do things at their own pace and for the most part, there's nothing we can do rush their growth or comprehension or mastery of a skill. Whether it's personality or biology that prohibits some kids from performing on par with the a majority of the population, we should encourage our children and not let ourselves be consumed with worry and fear when they don't line up to others.
Already prone to worry and uncertainty, Cakes being born prematurely did nothing to quell my anxiety. Visiting an occupational therapist at six months (non-adjusted) and being told she was developmentally delayed because she wasn't rolling over from front to back and vice versa was frustrating to me, but I didn't let it paralyze me with fear. Instead, I worked a little longer and harder with her each day, despite the tears and anger flails of her little hands and feet. And one day not to long after that appointment, on her own terms, not when the charts on the internet predicted or the therapist decided, she rolled over. I've eventually been able to check off all of the skills up to this point. She didn't crawl until 11 months and didn't walk until 15 months (these are all non-adjusted ages) and at times I worried but she was happy and healthy and reaching milestones in other areas, even some that were advanced skills for a baby several months older than her. I think a big part of all of this was her strong willed personality and resolve to not be forced into doing things until she was ready.
Now I'm ready for her to potty train but haven't had any luck in that area. She's motivated to sit on the potty because she knows that means a story and some nim's (M&Ms;). She's not interested in doing anything else, at least not at this point. And part of me has to wonder, if I'm just spinning my wheels and should wait for her to tell me when she's ready. I'm not usually someone that wants my little girl to grow up so fast – yes, I was eager for her to reach the walking and crawling milestones, but I know other parents who can't wait for their child to be able to watch a feature length movie while sitting still or move to a big kid bed – so I don't know if this is just another time to watch and wait or this is a battle I should face head on – strong willed mama versus strong willed child.
Do you get worried when your child doesn't hit developmental milestones? Any potty training tips or trips on how to handle a strong willed child?