Dear Parents: Stop Comparing Your Child With others

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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Comparing your child with others

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.

We create envy among children

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.

Stop Comparing, instead Celebrate their strengths

“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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About Author

I am an energetic mom of two kids, still learning the ropes of it. I am so excited to start writing about tips, tricks, and advice on things of everyday life.

(19) Comments

  1. Comparing our child with others is never a good idea. By doing this, we are shifting our focus towards the other kid ad not recognizing our child’s potential. Kids are like butterflies- each one is unique, beautiful ,and special.

  2. Such an important piece of article. It is so important to never compare children. Every child is unique and different and parents should learn to appreciate what their child has rather than comparing.

    1. Also, to add comparing can be really bad in a long term. The children need to also feel that they are unique and need to accept the way they are without much of comparison.

  3. Comparison is the human nature and to not to do that we need to keep reminding ourselves the cons of it. You have rightly mentioned with right choice of words the situation can be handled well and kids can have a childhood where they can be as they are.

  4. Comparison can be very devastating. It can do so much harm and damage that after a point it cannot be repaired. Yes it hits child’s self esteem and can lead to low self confidence. Parents needs to be very mindful while parenting.

  5. Can I agree more! Sometimes we unknowingly do it but that doesn’t make it less worse, I am so glad you chose to write on this buddy!

  6. Great post Anjali and I agree with all pointers. comparing your kids with others is a common parenting behavior that many parents do unconsciously. it affects child’s self esteem and negatively impact their personality development. as a parent, we should always keep in mind that each child is unique, so their learning and achievement journey too.

  7. Bedabrata Chakraborty says:

    Parents don’t realize such comparison is so unhealthy. It doesn’t do anybody any favor but scars a child for life.

  8. I could not agree with you here. Comparison can be very devastating and depressing. It can do so much harm and damage to the children that it cannot be repaired after certain points. It is important to provide them with the oppertunity to grow with their own passion.

  9. Each child is unique and any comparisons only serve to undermine the self-confidence of the child. This in turn builds up pressure on the kid. Sandy N Vyjay

  10. Sometimes my wife starts comparing my daughter to my son and vice versa. I’ve told her a number of times that such comparisons are not healthy and can be avoided. It takes a lot to build a child’s confidence and can take seconds to bring everything down.

  11. Bang on. Even twins have different characters. Then how can we compare our child with another child . thankfully many parents are getting aware of this

  12. During the process of parenting kids, I guess we all make the mistake of comparing them to others outside the house or even the siblings. I won’t lie even I have done this but I do realise that it leads to negative effects more than positive ones. I agree with you we should try to reinforce positive behaviour rather than comparing them.

  13. this comparison thing really affects their self esteem, its important that parents are aware of these things.

  14. This is a very important lesson for parents actually. We often keep doing this comparison unknowingly. Parenting is a challenging process and in times of frustration we often do such things, but we need to be very patient and understanding.

  15. Humaira says:

    It is so important to never compare children. Every child is unique and different. Parents needs to be very mindful while parenting.

  16. Comparing own child with others is the worst thing ever. This process will make the child’s mental stability down .

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