Sharing is comparing

When you have kids, you can’t help but be proud of them.

Even the littlest things can make you swell up with almost unbearable pride — those first baby smiles, those early toddler dancing skills, those kindergarteners who can read before the start of school!

We just can’t help it. 

They’re so impressive, we just have to tell our friends who have kids — humble bragging or just outright bragging — so they can understand what amazing kids we have, right? 

And why shouldn’t we?

This gig is HARD. And if we can’t celebrate the little victories, how will we carry on through the tantrums and other — nearly hourly — parenting fails?

The problem is, when we share, we can’t help but compare.

And comparing can be a tricky road to go down.

Why isn’t little Caleb reading chapter books like his buddy, Mason?

We can end up expecting our kids to develop at the exact same time — or perhaps with the same exact strengths — as all the “other” kids, especially when it comes to academics.

We can start to feel shame and doubt, comparing our kids only to the standout kids (versus the average ones), rather than celebrating our kids’ profound originality (which is what made us to so very proud in the first place). 

In this issue — our annual Education Issue — Laura Ramsborg’s How to Grow a Reader article addresses this idea of “keeping up with the Joneses” when it comes to reading. 

Her advice? Don’t rush it. Don’t “drill and kill.” There are things — best practices — families can try to inspire reading joy without spoiling the gift that is reading. 

And yet, that doesn’t mean you should sit idly by if you notice reading delays — which are much different than a child not reading early.

In fact, the other incredibly important article in this issue is about dyslexia — a surprisingly common learning disorder that affects as many as 1 in 5 kids.

Read the signs to watch for and, if you suspect trouble, get help right away. 

If a child with dyslexia doesn’t get intervention by the third grade, catching up can be far more difficult.

Fortunately, Minnesota offers some amazing supports for kids with dyslexia — including not just tutoring, but also assistive technologies, speech and language services and even career counseling to turn your little Tommy into the next Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein or Leonardo da Vinci. (Yes, they all reportedly struggled with dyslexia.)

Now that’s something to brag about!


Sarah Jackson is the editor of Minnesota Parent. Reach her at editor@mnparent.com.