Gold medal moments
Gold medal moments
Parent24 Editor, Scott Dunlop
Some amazing milestones in your child’s development don’t get posted as pictures to Facebook, but they are huge leaps for your kid - if they were taking part in the Olympics, they would be Gold Medal Moments. There are no trophies for First Potty Poop or Consecutive Nights of Unbroken Sleep, but most parents will be waving and cheering from the stands.

“I’m fine on my own”

Some kids take a while to get used to going into school. Nervous moms (and dads) flit around the perimeter fence, ready to dab at tears with a tissue, but, eventually, your kid will make that long leap into that first stage of independence: being confident enough to head into class on her own.

Backwards and forwards

It’s completely normal for kids who are learning to write to write letters upside down or back-to-front. A ‘b’ looks a lot like a ‘d’ or a ‘p’. Whole words may be garbled. Unless your child has an actual learning disability, though, one day writing (and reading) all click into place- forever.

Testing grounds

School can seem like an Olympic struggle. Endless training, tests and heats to get to the final event. Sure, the final exams help to produce a certificate, but even the tiniest spelling tests and mock exams provide an opportunity for parents to act as coaches and fans, giving praise and encouragement for the next stretch. A hard-earned increase in percentage in a subject is a real gold medal moment for you and your kid to cherish.

Money matters

There are many learning curves when it comes to cash, and your kid will probably ride them all. They are important milestones: when your child goes from splurging all his pocket money on ice cream to managing to save for a new toy, or gets a part-time job as a teen to cover his entertainment expenses, those are massive developments which deserve loads of acknowledgement.

“Mom and dad, this is...”

For your teen, social navigation is often tricky. Many teens choose not to share this part of their lives with their parents, for reasons of self-preservation. Lots of parents make the mistake of teasing their kids about having boyfriends or girlfriends without realising that being supportive creates open lines for communication. If your kid feels free enough to introduce a new partner to you, that’s a big deal.

All these tiny milestones could slip by unnoticed, but, if you reflect back on them, you’ll be able to see how your child went from clutching your hand to grabbing the future. Little steps on a marathon towards independence.

I know that observing my own kids produces plenty of moments for celebration; moments which, if I blinked for a second, I’d miss. I’d far rather be coach, spectator and fan to them, and be ready to lavish those medals (or hugs, kisses and kind words) as much as possible.

What are some unsung moments of achievement in your kid’s life? Send us an email to and you could win a R250 voucher.

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