All children are unique and they are special in their own way. It is a very negative act to compare two children. During my teaching years, parents have often asked me how their child is progressing and what their child’s level among other kids is.
Children are born with certain innate abilities which flourish depending on each child’s growth. Every child grows and develops differently, and they do things at their own pace. Generally, children achieve certain targets at a certain age and that is why we have a timeline of milestones which we expect our kids to achieve when they reach a certain age limit. But their growth cannot be benchmarked against this standard time zone.
A child usually starts to crawl by six months, stands by eight months and can walk before her first birthday. Any child not following the same timeline does not mean that there is something wrong with her or her development. It is just that she is growing at her own pace and it doesn’t make her any different from others.
When a child is admitted to the preschool, her age is about three years. We see a whole classroom of children who are blossoming differently. There are some kids who actively engage with other kids, some are too shy to even have an eye contact, some are good responders during circle time, some even can’t talk, some are naturally late talkers, some find it too hard to carry out transition activities, some enjoy music and movement and some find it too hard to move. But by the end of preschool, I have witnessed totally changed souls. Shy kids are confident speakers, late talkers are talking fluently, difficult to move kids enjoy dance lessons and most importantly their self-esteem and self-confidence can be visibly felt of a higher level.
It is human nature to compete and strive for the best and the children are fierce competitors. If we give them challenges they will give it all to achieve and win. But it is obligatory for the educator and the parent to set achievable goals for their children and provide a safe, secure and child friendly environment so that the kids can reach their full potential.