I had always heard that girls usually walk faster than boys. In support of this popular ‘theory’, my daughter walked way earlier than my son did.

Okay, to be honest, I don’t actually believe this theory because I have read opposing views and also seen a number of cases where the boys ‘beat’ the girls to walking. However, in the midst of all this ‘talk’, I ask myself, ‘Does it really matter?’

Let me explain where I am going with all this. When my son turned ‘one’, he appeared to have no ‘walking’ plans. As in, he was absolutely comfortable with cruising his world on all fours and he was blatantly refusing any help to stand on his own. A friend of my mine then recommended he starts taking ‘bone marrow’ and some other remedies. There were some other suggestions from other people such as ‘use his walker more often’, ‘practice with him more’, etc.

Of all the advice, the ‘bone marrow’ bit was the one that I found most amazing and puzzling. However, rather than getting into an endless debate, I just thanked my adviser and in the privacy of our home, we continued living out life as we knew it, as we waited for the little champ’s big day.

His big day came about two months after his first birthday. Yes, he finally took two steps or so. We were so excited that going forward, we were always trying to make him walk, like half the time. However, it was interesting to note that whenever we ‘pushed’, he would stay put on the floor. That’s right, his progress ended up being at his own pace. He definitely was not going to be ‘pushed’ into walking and goodness, the delight on his face whenever he mustered enough courage to take yet another one of his baby steps was always priceless.

Now, where am I going with this little story of mine? I am not saying that for example, encouraging your child to walk by placing him/her in a ‘walker’ is a bad thing. What I am saying is that children often have their own pace and strengths.

Therefore, ‘worrying’ or giving in to desperate measures is not going to push them along any faster. On the contrary, it may even slow them down, especially if they are older and are able to pick up on your fear factor or younger and just simply feel overwhelmed by your imposing pressure and expectations.

Again, please let me emphasize that this is not to say that there will be no occasions when you need to ‘encourage’ your child along. There will probably be many of such occasions. Nevertheless, be sure that your intervention is necessary and your methods, healthy. Please note that this advice goes to mothers with children of all ages because there are times when even the older children appear to be ‘behind’ their peers academically, socially, etc. Intervention with one child could mean ensuring he/she practices more at home. With another child it could mean morale boosting that makes him/her believe more in him/herself. For yet another, it could mean giving the child the ‘chance’ to repeat a class. Or even changing schools or core subject areas, etc. Bottom line, knowing if, when and how to intervene is what really matters at the end of the day and intervention for one child may differ from intervention for another child.

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net