This teacher reminds us that while developmental milestones for children are helpful, there’s something else that’s more important. 

When I look around my classroom, I couldn’t tell you who crawled first, who walked before the age of one or spoke in sentences by 15 months. I can’t tell you if their parents breastfed or bottle-fed. No clue if they still wear pull-ups at night—because I’m sure many do!

I don’t know if they potty-trained at 18 months or four years old. I don’t know if their mum ever left them to cry it out for a few minutes or if they strapped them to their bodies 24/7.

You know what I can tell you when I look at my kids?

I can tell which families value kindness and manners in their homes. I can tell when a child feels loved and secure at home (and at school, which sadly isn’t always everyone’s school experience).

I know who has pizza and a movie on Saturday nights and which mum reads in different voices for bedtimes. I see how kids handle scary situations like thunderstorms. I can see who has a solid routine at home and who has chores and responsibilities. I can hear how you speak to your children by how they speak to others.

When I look at my little friends, I don’t see their milestones. I see who they are: their heart, their actions, their inner voice, their struggles and triumphs. And I see you: all the love you pour into them.

Go easy on yourselves, mamas. Just love your little ones—it’s what they need the most.

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