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Letting Children Develop at Their Own Pace



If you have read here long, you know that I, like most parents, get excited when one of my children reaches a milestone. I have posted videos of a 5 year old reading scriptures from her journal [3], doing multiplication in her head [4], and riding a bike with no training wheels [5]. I have posted when my 18 year old received a full academic, college scholarship [6].

It's hard not to want everyone to celebrate with you when a child masters a difficult skill or achieves a major accomplishment.

The thing is, as may be the case with you, some of my children have come to competence in these skills at a much later age than others.

And that's okay.

Of course, I don't post a video when an 8 year old is finally sounding out words with no help from me or is still struggling with the 2 wheel bike, or when one of the teens is doing Algebra 1 for the second year.

Just because a child is lagging behind her siblings or even behind all your friends' children doesn't necessarily mean there is anything wrong. It could mean you need to knuckle down on math time and make sure the work is really being done. But it also could mean that your child is simply a late bloomer and needs extra time to practice the skill.

Give each child plenty of space to develop at his or her own pace, whether that is ahead of his peers or behind.

Celebrate your child's milestones, whether they come early, right on schedule, or late enough that you are biting your nails wondering if they'll ever get it.