The study, which looked at 2,000 mums with children under 7, claims that three quarters of mums found other parents competitive over whose child reached important milestones first, with more than half admitting to feeling ‘uneasy’ when questioned over their child’s milestone success.
One in ten mums in the survey confessed to being ‘really pushy’ while the same amount has even lied about their child’s progress in a bid to fend off criticism.
Although most parents in the report agree that the majority of pressure comes from family and friends who also have children, one in five believe that simply talking to other mums instantly makes them feel competitive, with a third claiming that they actively avoided pushy playground mums because of the feelings of rivalry.
The top 10 milestones that mums feel most pressured by are:
- Potty training
- Sleeping through the night
- Staying dry through the night
- Eating solids
- Counting to 10
- Making friends
“Infants, just like adults, are individuals who all experience their worlds in their own unique way,” says child psychologist Emma Kenny. “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.”
“It’s not surprising that potty training is the top milestone mums feel pressured by, as the whole process can be a very stressful time for parents and children alike. However, it is important for mums and dads to remember that all children develop differently and that parents and children have to embark on achieving significant milestones, such as potty training, when they feel ready,” said Adam Solymos, brand manager for Pull Ups, which has created a special website to help with potty training.
Do you feel pressurised to help you child achieve important milestones early?