DEAR HARRIETTE: I am a mother of two children, a 7-year-old girl and a 2-year-old boy. I have been worrying about my son's development in comparison to his older sister. When she was 2 years old, she was running about and speaking in full sentences. My son is still clumsy, and I just feel like he hasn't been developing like his sister did.
I have seen doctors, and they say children develop at different rates. However, both of these children have had the same environment to grow up in! I am worried that my son is falling behind developmentally. My husband isn't home enough to see the difference between how our kids are developing, but he admits it is a bit harder to get my son to listen and connect in a conversation. I have been trying to set up play dates with other boys his age to see if he is truly behind. Am I going too far? I just want to make sure my son is growing up and developing correctly. -- Mama Bear, Dallas
DEAR MAMA BEAR: It is true that children develop differently, in virtually every way. There are also markers for development. You can check with your son's pediatrician to ensure that he is meeting those developmental markers. You can also consult a behavioral specialist to get a second opinion. Meanwhile, it's a great idea to continue to match him up with play dates, not just to observe him. You need to find comfort zones for him so that he can flourish. If you identify children who naturally fit his rhythm, you may find that he matures differently.