My daughter did not “crawl” or “sit” by conventional definitions. She was very adept at pulling herself forward – and quickly – while keeping her torso on the ground. She kneels instead of sits, and from this position, moving forward is the next step. Greysen’s ways are not better than others’, but they are hers. She is confident and graceful as she plays, never thinking about her balance or teetering in some way that prompts me to surround her by pillows.
I understand that the “When are you going to walk?” mentality stems from a place of enthusiasm or even professional recommendation (e.g., pediatricians’ development charts), but I worry for parents who feel pressure to assist their children in achieving such milestones on any timetable other than their own. I also worry for the children who are essentially being told that moving how they are currently capable of moving is not enough.
Helping Her Walk
Mike and I decided to everything we could to support Greysen’s development. We decided that was to let it just happen. I am helping her learn to walk by letting her discover how her body moves on her own. I expect that the deepening knowledge of how her body moves through space as well as the self-reliance she has already developed through self-initiated movement will contribute to self-confidence – confidence that will be key not only to those first steps, but also to getting up again after those first falls.
By making the decision to honor her competencies rather than pushing her to accomplish the next milestone, she will continue to know her motor growth and development as a positive experience.