Don’t Compare Your Kids!

Everyone has strengths and weaknesses. This is true for kids and adults of all ages.  And, on average, kids develop skills at different rates within the normal range. So, don’t compare your kids! See my personal revelation of hypocrisy below.

This topic is on my mind because I took my son to his third tennis lesson today and watched him struggle through one of his weaknesses: gross motor skills and coordination. He has always been a little slower at running and less coordinated than his peers, preventing him from having much success at sports. Meanwhile, this kid is really smart. He’s always been advanced, verbally.  He’s like the kind of smart that makes me worry he’s going to be embarrassed by his parents’ average intelligence. (This is a guess…I don’t actually know our IQs.)

Tennis

Then there’s our 17-month-old daughter, with seemingly opposite skills.  She can keep up with her brother like nobody’s business.  Her fine motor skills are so great, she even holds a crayon with the three-finger grip! She’s loving, clever, humorous, and empathetic. She just doesn’t speak. Alright, she babbles and says a few words, but verbally she’s way behind where her brother was at her age.

Determined to ride her brother's scooter.
Determined to ride her brother’s scooter.

Oops, I’m not supposed to compare my kids! And for good reason. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses, and until I find evidence that my son’s or daughter’s skills are falling outside the normal curve, I vow to step back and watch them use their strengths to overcome their weaknesses. Also, I don’t want to set up a self-fulfilling prophesy for them: He’s the smart one and she’s the athlete. They’re 5 and 17 months for goodness sake! Take home message: Don’t compare your kids; let them be who they will be!

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