When SP was born we joined a Mom’s group from Rhode Island New Moms Connection, we met some great moms who we’ve kept in touch with for playdates. I loved RINWC because the groups are set up by your child’s age, so all the mommies in our group were first-time moms and we all had babes under 3 months.
Our playdate a couple of weekends ago was the first time SP and I had seen the other moms and babes in several weeks. Like all parents, we were asking each other what everyone’s respective babies are doing. Sitting without support? Rolling both directions? Getting up on all fours? Eating? What are they eating? We’re all secretly comparing our kids to the others – some are doing more in some areas and others are doing more in other areas. But looking at one particular child, we’ll call her A, it was so clear how we mommies influence our children. If you’re not convinced how much what you do affect your kids – here’s a little story for you.
A’s mom is a physical therapist and as you all know SP’s mom (me) is a dietitian. Now A started rolling before any of the other babies in our group. She was rolling everywhere – both directions! SP is still only rolling one direction. As if A’s skills were not impressive enough, just a few weeks later, at our January playdate, little A is up on all fours! OMG, up on all fours – that kid is a genius – ready for the Olympics! Of course, I immediately go home and try to prop SP up and of course her little head drops right to the floor and her knees splay out sideways. She flops like a seal for a bit and then arches her back enough to maneuver from her belly to her back – not the most graceful roller by any means. So, naturally I’m concerned – SP is delayed, she’s going to be behind, she’ll surely be held back in kindergarten – she can’t roll, she can’t get up on all fours!
Flash forward 5 weeks to our most recent playdate. SP is still only rolling one direction, but I’m over my fears of a lifetime of parent-teacher conferences and math tutors. Now it’s SPs turn to shine a light on little A. As the playdate goes along SP gets more and more hungry, her bottle is drained and it’s time for solids. I sit her up in her highchair like the big girl that she is and commence feeding her some pretty chunky peas, she handles them like a pro! A’s mom comes in and observes the scene she exclaims, “Whoa! A isn’t doing anything like that!” Oh my, but do I swell with pride. That’s right my SP is light years beyond A in her eating skills!
After playgroup ends, I’m still beaming with pride in my little girl and I’m sure A’s mom is beaming with pride in her little girl – as we both should be. And I think to myself – the PT’s daughter is excelling in her gross motor skills and the RD’s daughter is excelling in her eating skills. Hmmmm….it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see the influence here.
The lesson here is that you are influencing your children at any age. So, watch what you say, watch what you do, watch what you eat and how much you move because your children are paying attention.