Lazy parenting – part one

I have a feeling this could turn into a rant. I’m just coming out of the second bout of viral horribleness I’ve had into the last month or so.

Thankfully this one was short, yet intense, but there is something about riding the porcelain bus hourly for almost two days that leaves you with more than a bitter taste in your mouth.

It’s time to purge out some of that mental baggage as well. I have a habit of letting it build up on me until the pressure becomes too much and maybe, just maybe, that’s why it manifests in a physical illness. Who knows? I’ll believe anything at this point.

So for my future health and sanity, here goes.

My anger started building when I read this post a couple of weeks ago. The post itself wasn’t overtly offensive – I get if you’re blogging on a mainstream news site that the point is to create a reaction, the more controversial the better. I also concede I was reading under the veil of worry for my own boy, almost two, who only says a handful of words. ‘Late walker, early talker’, my arse.

Then I started reading the comments to the piece. Bad move. Cue the parents of gabbling toddlers all lining up to be recognised for the gift of language they’ve lovingly bestowed on their child by not using baby talk, reading to them, engaging them in conversation, showing them the big wide world etc, boring etc.

Then cue the anecdotes about other parents they know (usually inlaws, funnily enough) who do not take these basic steps and who have children that are far less advanced than their little darlings, ‘poor things’. Just plain old lazy parenting.

Well I’m here to tell you, perfect parents, with perfect children, sometimes there are other parents putting in all the same, loving care and attention that you boast of and continue to do so, despite seeing next to no results for their efforts. They continue to do it, despite worrying there could be something wrong with their child, while you sit back at a family barbecue making mental notes at how their child is far less articulate than yours, smug in the knowledge that you are a superior parent.

Let me break it down for you – as far as I can tell, you just got lucky. Good on you for being such a doting parent, but stop to think that there are other parents out there not as ‘lucky’ as you who may have to seek professional help just to get their child at the stage that you take for granted.

The morning I first read this piece I’d had a conversation with J’s day care carer about his progress and when I brought up his speech – or lack there of – she gently said that maybe it was worth getting him assessed. I was thinking it already but sometimes hearing it from someone else makes it seem more omnipresent, another reality.

And then I read this piece and found out that if I wasn’t such a god damn lazy parent we wouldn’t even be in this situation. How enlightening.

Anyone with a late talker out there? At what point did you begin to worry and seek further advice?

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11 thoughts on “Lazy parenting – part one

  1. My son is almost 3 and has just started saying the words like “wat dat” “mummy” “na more” – my other two were talking and walking before one – hey they were even toilet trained at 14 months.

    My son who was toilet trained early too but never showed interest in talking.

    I took him to a speech therapist on my own judgement, she told me to relax, sit back and enjoy him.

    Its been 4 months since the appointment and just this week he said “wat dat” “mummy” “na more” .

    Each to their own – if those parents think they’re parenting skills are better then others , then lucky for them.

    If you know your doing everything in YOUR parenting skills & power to teach & grow with you bub then ignore those perfect parents.

    We were never given an instruction book on raising kids so who do those parents know they’re doing the right thing??

    BTW your son is only terrible two and absolutely chubbily cute….(if thats a word)

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  2. with having a boy and a girl, I have found that boys tend to be slower in talking, not because you are a lazy parent!! My good friend had a boy who was a slow talker and took him to a speechie in Ashgrove and saw her for about 6months or so.. the improvement was incredible so if you are worried, then get him assessed.. Think she started becoming concerned after he was about 2.5yrs old.. And another friend has a boy same age as Poppy who is not talking much and also is seeing a speechie, so it seems to be quite a common theme with boys, so don’t beat yourself up !! xx

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    • Not sure if I’m worried or not. Some days yes, some days no. All other ways of communicating and responding seem fine. I was starting to think 2.5 might be where I take it further if needed. Good to hear that there was alot of improvement with the help of a speechie. Not beating myself up just yet, just constantly astounded at the judgements people make without thinking and somedays it makes me stabby!

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  3. Both my kids talked early but I put that down to me being a chatterbox!! My son spoke clearly and lots but my daughter just spoke gibberish for ages we found she had a gearing problem have gotten that sorted and at times wonder why! I think it’s really unfair to judge kids/parents I do my best and that’s all that counts as far as I’m concerned as my mum told me relax the baby hasn’t read the milestones book theyll get there when their ready just love them

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  4. I have 2 early talkers who won’t shut up & I’m not aware of any special thing we did to make it so – definitely more good luck than good management! Most offensive comment in that article “I just checked out the cost of the book that provoked this article and it’s $70! So obviously, no-one who needs this book can afford to buy it.” Since when is family income directly proportional to abilities of children??? What a crock.

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    • Oh yes, what a shocker. It’s amazing what gross generalisations people come up with when they’re posting anonymously on a news site! You just couldn’t make half that stuff up if you tried!

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  5. Hey Belinda, I’m not the biggest fan of this blogger, so against my better judgement I too read this article and came away with my fairly standard opinion which is… what a load of crap. There is such an intense focus on “early learning” these days, and its so hard to avoid the comparisons that take place (either actual or perceived). In my opinion, this blogger and parents making condescending comments need to worry less about the “poor unfortunate children” more about the values and skills they model to their own children (ie how to be a good, kind, caring, confident and happy person, rather than worrying about being “the best” and constantly comparing yourself to others).
    Because, in my mind, the big picture is this – by the time our kids are teenagers, they’ll all be able to speak and walk, and they’ll all be toilet trained; and the age at when these milestones occurred will long forgotten. However, kids who are raised with unrealistic expectations of constantly excelling in life are being set up to fail. These are the kids I feel sorry for – the ones who will possibly lack the self-confidence and emotional security they need to get them through these hellish years. Kids need to know that it’s okay if they don’t get first place in the running race, and know they’re still loved if they’re not getting straight-A’s (or even B’s God forbid). To me, that’s the important stuff. (thanks for the opportunity to rant in response to your rant)

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  6. Ugh! I am sorry you read that piece. I saw it and decided to ignore it. I mean, talk about sensationalised!! You are a great Mum – hope it all goes well. For what it’s worth I know plenty of kids who have talked late – you are not alone!

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