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The little things that matter

It’s the new year and it’s been a crazy month already! Between busy schedules and some unexpected health changes we were given the sign to slow down. Although slowing down and intentionality was something we’ve been wanting to work on we weren't putting those hopes in the practice. Now we don't have a choice and for that, I am thankful. My friends always remind me to have a word for the year and I think my word is SLOW. We have a lot of things we have been wanting to accomplish this year but I was reminded that some things come at just the right time.

snail on a leaf

Slowing down can mean so many things. Slowing down our busy schedules to make more time for one another. Slowing down our need to accomplish so much so soon. I am ready to take life as it comes and being okay with a timeline not my own.

This is especially true for my son. I want every opportunity I can provide for him and it can be disappointing when things don’t turn out as expected. Sometimes I worry about rather or not my son is where he needs to be developmentally. It can be easy to play the comparison game with other kids. Even knowing that one child may excel in one subject while the other excels in another, I can easily fall into the anxious trap of “am I doing enough for my child?”

The answer of course is yes! I am and you are too.

But I also know having something tangible can ease the mind - and great news! You can see proof almost every day. You just have to know what to look for.

Children gradually build their skills daily and overtime we can see a difference. Sometimes we focus on the big change instead of the in between practice it took to get there. There are days when my son “suddenly” learned a new skill and I wonder where he learned it from. But it’s no mystery. He has been working on it every day!

smiling toddler boy looking out a window while holding a picture of a rainbow.

Take pouring for instance. It’s likely your child will begin this process by spilling the contents everywhere but in its intended container. Overtime, the table stays dry. Progress! That means they’ve improved on their gross motor skills (muscle movement), fine motor skills (hand eye coordination) and spacial recognition. Each time they make less of a spill they’ve improved. We have the opportunity to celebrate the little wins almost every time.

Today was a great reminder of my son’s capabilities. I still need to remember he is three years old and that I am thankful he is developmentally on track. Also, he is in fact learning.

Bananagram tiles laid out on the floor

I came home to a bunch of letter tiles from the Banangrams game scattered on the living room floor. I kept to my initial reaction to myself as I worried about the many pieces that may be lost from the pile. My son was in an excited mood, jumping around. It wasn’t until after I had lunch and came back to the tiles still on the floor, when I realized something. Progress. Oliver had found most of the letter “E” tiles and lined them up next to one another. Does he know the name of the letter? Probably not. But he recognized a pattern and the letter shape enough to pull it out multiple times. This is a step to letter recognition. Over time he will be able to name the letter and its sound. So I am celebrating the accomplishments along the way.

So if there are days where you do struggle with whether your child is where they need to be developmentally, I implore you to look at what they’ve already succeeded in, even on the things you know they are working on. I assure you, for most kids, there has been some improvement and that’s truly a special thing.


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