I recently had a discussion with a friend about his children. Believe it or not, dads to talk about children and fatherhood and how to raise them right. So as we were talking I became aware that he has some insecurities about whether or not his kids are "normal" because they are not doing what other kids their age are doing. The youngest one is about 4 months old. This one (can you believe it?) is not sleeping through the night. The middle one is about 3 and she is having some difficulty tying her shoes. The oldest, who is 5 can't yet spell her 15 syllable sir name.
I assured him that the 4 month old will probably, sooner or later when about 15 years old, sleep through the night, and that tying shoes is made easy with Velcro and that it took me till I was 7 to spell my (at that time) 3 syllable sir name.
We put so much pressure on kids these days to perform certain tasks that we see as a mark of their capabilities and intelligence. Yet we don't realize that most of the time we are simply wanting them to conform to a standard set out by society that is viewed as "normal" when it is actually quite unreasonable. And when they can't do it, then there is so much shame placed upon us as parents.
I remember a music teacher telling me that if my daughter couldn't write a proper sharp sign on the music staff, then she could just show me where it goes and I could do it for her. She would still get the credit for doing it. First off, this music program gave way too much paper work to be done at home each week. Secondly, I don't have time to sit and work on fifteen sharp signs when there are so many other and more fun things that I could be doing with my kid. Thirdly, why would I want to encourage my daughter to cheat in order to get credit for something she didn't do? But god forbid there be something flawed with the "program"!! Needless to say, about 2 weeks before the end of the year, we dropped the program. She didn't get the credit, but she was so much less stressed that it was definitely the right decision.
Let's teach our kids to be self-reliant, self-thinking individuals who are not going to conform to society's expectations just to fit in. The world needs more forward thinkers than it does followers.