Don’t Rush Me!

by Debbie Twomey on January 23, 2014



Miss McKenna is 2 years old. I see her as this amazing little creature that is absorbing information at such a rate I can barely keep up with her. But is she precocious or is she “just” a normal 2 year old and why does it matter?  If she understood how competitive her world would soon become I am sure she would say, “Don’t rush me!”

It is difficult for me to think back on my daughter to gauge if they are at the same level at this age. For one, I know better than to compare and second my daughter had an emotionally difficult start to her life and she was much shyer and quiet. McKenna is not shy, and she does not have her mother’s personality though she has many of her traits.

Children pass “milestones”– stages of growth as measured by most doctors. Stages such as sitting up, walking, talking and every learning step along the way. And most are quick to point out that not all children develop at the same rate YET and this is a big yet, once children starts interacting with other children, the comparisons invariably begin. Every parent needs reassurance their child is developing as they should but it seems we go to the extreme by comparing little Johnny and Susie with other children their ages. We try not to but most of us do it to one degree or another.

We do have to have an estimate to go by—it is essential to know if our children are meeting each developmental step and address serious lags.  If you look at charts doctors offer there is a wide period of time to each stage, like walking between 10-15 months. If our baby walks early we are thrilled and so relieved when they finally walk at 18 months wondering what took them so long.

McKenna stood at 7 months and took her first steps at less than 8 months. By 9 months she could walk everywhere and I knew I was in trouble because I missed out on those extra few months of keeping her contained. But I was proud of her strength and independence. I was impressed none the less because she was not encouraged to be ahead of the curve she just was.

So how will I feel if she falls behind in some other area, like learning in school or something? If it is a serious deficit, I will be concerned. But if it is that she is not quite up with the other kids yet, I will support her, help her in any way she needs and wait till she catches up/on. She will learn at her own rate not my time table.

Yes, I read to her for her entertainment as well as learning process.  I talk to her all the time which is one reason she is so accomplished at talking and has a wide vocabulary. But maybe she won’t be as good at numbers or learning to tie her shoes. If that happens, I certainly know I won’t panic or think “well now this might hurt her chances to get into a good college.” I know this sounds quite exaggerated but we all have heard of parents who plan their children’s lives while in utero and who consider any delay as a serious disadvantage.

You can read Report card for a 2 year old on my blog ( to see what milestones a 2 year old will most likely reach and if there is cause for concern with your child who is not talking at all by 2 years old. Other red flags are: unable to follow simple directions or imitate words and any loss of skill they previously had.


I am 2

My main concern for this 2 year old is her physical and emotional health. Her mother was not emotionally healthy at this age (she was just being placed into my foster care) and it affected every other stage of her life thus far.  McKenna is very healthy emotionally because of all the love and support she has received in her short life. This is key in her future development. In my next blog I will go further into what is expected of 3-4 year olds and why this can set the stage for failure. Don’t rush a child’s development. Take to heart the saying “each child is unique” and they are all different. Let them be themselves.

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