Even at a young age, parents tend to compare their children to others. We constantly compare our children to their classmates or park buddies, and even with their siblings. Dear Parents, it’s high time now, stop comparing your child with others.
“It’s unfortunate, but we live in a culture that fosters competition and individualism over community and collectivism — and this certainly doesn’t exclude parents,” says Rebecca Schrag Hershberg, Ph.D., author of “The Tantrum Survival Guide.”
My kids are just opposites. Their interests, as well as the ways they learn, communicate, express themselves, and react, could not be more dissimilar. so, if our own kids are so different how come we compare them with other kids.
What do we expect as parents when we dont stop comparing our child to other child or siblings?
On the one hand, we want to encourage our children to look up to their older siblings or classmates and emulate their behavior, so that they acquire the talent, behavior, or trait that we adults value in others and that will benefit our children.
On the other hand, we are giving a glimpse of the parents’ desire for how we want our children to be because we consider that quality to be positive for our children.
Without leaving room for the real characteristics of our kids, which may be different from the one we are trying to model for that other child, surely because we see that quality as beneficial and advantageous for them.
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Dreaming about the success and good life of our own kids is not bad at all; in fact, it is every parent’s prerogative; but, pressuring our children to fulfill such fantasies beyond their ability is quite dangerous.
Children have distinct fortes and work at their own speed. When we compare them to their classmates, we risk lowering their self-esteem and confidence, which is something no parent wants. Allow them to make errors and learn from them.
Remember this :
“The quickest way to destroy anything exceptional is to compare it to something else.”
But what happens to our children when we compare them? Is it beneficial to compare some children with others?
Consequences on the child of comparing them with others:
The consequences of comparing children are many, but none of them achieves the desired effects. The main consequences are:
1. We create envy among children:
Children perceive this comparison as parental affection being dispersed depending on traits that parents admire in one kid but not in another. This causes envy and jealously among siblings, which can lead to disputes between our children.
2. We damage our kid’s self-esteem:
We’re teaching kids that the only traits we value are the ones they lack. This can cause kids to feel insecure, worthless, and unloved, making it difficult for them to develop a good self-esteem.
3. We create a rivalry with other children:
In comparison with other children as well as with siblings, we sabotage our child’s relationship with that child whom they see as a rival and perceive him as more accepted by his parents than himself.
We undermine our child’s relationship with that youngster whom they view as a competition and who is more accepted by his parents than himself, in contrast to other children as well as siblings.
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Stop comparing your child with others.
How to help the child acquire positive qualities or behaviours without comparing?
Reinforce positive behaviours:
Our children are sure to have thousands of positive and beneficial qualities, they are sure to be more tender, nicer, funnier, more studious, smarter than other children. So, stop comparing your child with others instead we must express to them that we appreciate all the positive qualities that they have, and not just point out and focus on the flaws.
The way to motivate our children to acquire positive behaviour is to reinforce those behaviours when they appear, but not because another classmate or another sibling personalizes them. In this way, we will motivate our children to acquire this behaviour without feeling negatively compared with others equally.
“Rather than compare your child, celebrate their strengths,” says Grover.
I read somewhere Children need to know that they are welcomed as they are. Let us marvel at each child’s individuality as they develop their own unique blend of traits and abilities.
We have to let our children know that we accept them as they are with their virtues and their aspects of improvement, but that the aspects to improve do not influence our love for them.
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