Thursday, April 25, 2013

So... Are YOU raising a genius?

Hello, all! This is going to be a fairly short post, but I'm going to start off by answering the question in the title of my post: "So... Are YOU raising a genius?" Answer: Who cares!?

Honestly... Since becoming a mother, I have noticed how competitive parents and families can be about the development of their children, and sometimes, nieces, nephews, grandchildren, what have you. Seriously... It's ridiculous. Call me a bad mother, but I don't think baby C is a genius or advanced in any way compared to other babies. Do I think he's smart? Sure, I do! Do I think he's incredible? Well... Of course! After all, *I* grew and carried him for over 40 weeks and laboured to bring him into this world. I think C is beautiful and wonderful and I love watching him learn and explore. But I don't think everything he does is incredibly advanced. I touched briefly on this in my last post, but I'm happy with him being "average". I'm elated for him to hit each milestone right on time! The few things he has done early, pretty much just take after me and his father: holding up his head early, teething early, and bearing weight on his legs early. But every other milestone, he has pretty much hit on time. Of course, I constantly worry about him doing some things late, but that's just being a mom. No child will hit every milestone, or learn everything at the same time as the next kid. And it will all be in different order! Even siblings develop incredibly differently!

Sure... I've had people tell me that they think C is smart or advanced in one thing or another, but honestly, I think he's just a "baby C" brand of smart.

In any case, I'm not going to pressure C to be super smart or advanced. He'll be pressuring himself soon enough, as will several others. I WILL, however, encourage him to value family, friendship and education. I do enjoy watching him grow and learn and discover the world around him; and I want to nurture that. I want learning to be fun for him! I don't want him to feel like he needs to be the best so that mommy can tell "so and so" that he is "better" than their kid.

Just as every child is different, every parent is different. The competitiveness that exists between parents in regards to their children, also tends to turn into a competition of "who's the better parent?"; who knows more about parenthood and raising a child? This is the silliest of all competitions, because no one knows how to be a mother or father BEFORE becoming a mother or father, no matter how many books have been read on the subject. The fact of the matter is, YOU are the best parent for YOUR child. Don't let anyone make you feel otherwise!

Now please don't misunderstand me... I'm not saying you shouldn't be proud of your child or even brag about him or her! I know that I am so incredibly proud of my baby C and I love to share stories about him hitting milestones. But the decision that I have come to is this: I will not compare my child to any other children, because they are not him, and I am not raising them; instead of setting goals or expectations of who C SHOULD become, I will dream of who he COULD become; and I will use those dreams to drive the way that I raise and nurture him.

Alright... I'll get off of my little soapbox now. ;) love you all! I hope you have a lovely Thursday night and a beautiful Friday!

- Ashley

Here is baby C snuggling with his giraffe from his Yaya and Papa: :)

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