It seems I need problems my kids are having to come slap me in the face before I get too involved, and I think this might be a good thing. Even when they were little I did not fret about whether they were on the mark developmentally or if they were keeping up in preschool. I didn’t wonder if my kids were doing what all the other kids were doing, or if they could cut with scissors on time or play ball better than the next kid.
I grew up in such isolation, both physically and emotionally, that I don’t think in terms of how I, and now my kids, compare to others.
For me it is always about how is my kid doing? Is he happy and is he thriving and is he doing things that make us feel good? None of these questions have to do with anyone else, just my kid and just us. So if there is a problem at school or somewhere else, I believe we have created a culture of respect and trust with our kids such that they want to tell us when it reaches a point of concern. That’s when we start trying to come up with solutions, and not before. This might seem kind of extreme, but I will say that it has worked. Doing this allows kids to fight their own battles and figure out for themselves what matters, and when to turn to the parents for help. We eat dinner together every night and we talk about the day, so we are not in such a vacuum that there is no forum to discover daily issues. If a kid doesn’t bring it up that means it is not an issue or it is not of concern yet.
Doesn’t work perfectly every time, but I believe it is better than hovering around kids worrying about how they are doing. Anything that really matters shows up eventually.