Competitive Mums Pile On The Pressure For Children To Achieve Developmental Milestones

05/09/2011 10:15 | Updated 22 May 2015
Competitive mums pile on the pressure for kids to achieve developmental milestonesPA

Do you feel under pressure from other people about how quickly your children achieve milestones? If you do, you're not alone – a report out today has revealed that millions of parents push their kids to learn to walk, talk, sleep through the night and even to make friends because they fear other mums 'judging' them.

The report – which was commissioned by Huggies Pull-Ups – polled 2,000 mums with little ones under seven.

Potty training topped the list of 'milestones' mums feel their kids should reach quickly – mainly because they feared criticism from family and friends whose children were already dry.

One in six mums said they even felt pressure from complete strangers when they passed comment on their child's development and behaviour.

Three quarters of mums confessed they found other parents competitive over whose child reached significant milestones first, whilst more than half of the mums surveyed said they felt 'uneasy' when they were confronted by other mothers as to whether their children had done something or not.

Competitive parenting also came into play, with one in five women 'fessing up that when talking to other mums, it immediately made them feel competitive about their children's achievements, and pressured into making them reach key milestones earlier.

Astonishingly, around one in five mums also admitted they had LIED about their child's development, because they felt so uncomfortable about milestones not being reached!

Despite this, a third of mums said that competitive behaviour led them to avoiding some mums in the playground, and 60 per cent said they felt 'angry' over the pressure they felt from other mums. The study also found that working mums felt they got judged more because they had jobs, particularly by mother's who don't work.

Child psychologist, Emma Kenny commented on the findings, saying: 'Infants, just like adults, are individuals who all experience their worlds in their own unique way. Whilst some infants seem to effortlessly achieve each milestone, others will take longer, which is completely normal as these are stereotypes of development, not absolutes.

'Any mums worried about other peoples parenting skills being better than their own should take a moment to look at it from their child's perspective. If your infant is smiling, laughing and secure then you are doing an excellent job.'

The top ten list of milestones mums feel pressure to achieve are:

1. Potty trained

2. Sleeping through the night

3. Walking

4. Talking

5. Reading

6. Writing

7. Staying dry through the night

8. Eating solids

9. Counting to ten

10. Making friends

Do you agree? Have other mums made you feel inadequate about your child's development?

Suggest a correction