Why You Should Avoid Comparing Your Child to Others
In this post, I’m going to look at why you should avoid comparing your child to others.
I understand we all want our children to be the best, to be flawless and to excel in everything they do. But the truth is, people are different. Your kids are not the same, they are different individuals with totally different abilities and natures. Otherwise parenthood would be boring! Imagine having kids with the exact traits, I mean, where is the fun in that. I’m sorry, but I’m a lover for variety!
Now, there is nothing wrong with wanting your child to be the best, but when we express that desire through comparisons, we may mess things up. Of course it’s hard not to compare or to have that ‘Why can’t you be like your brother” kind of thinking. However, when these expressions and thoughts become vocal, they can cause damage to your dear child.
I have heard the most bizarre comparisons made in innocence and some in pure ignorance; from baby milestones to weight. While you might think telling your child he or she is too thin or too fat is a motivation for them to eat better, they might see it as body shamming. There is enough of that already outside your home. Remember to be your child’s first cheerleader. If there are concerns with health issues, there is a better way of addressing them together as a team and with love.
It’s very easy to destroy a child’s confidence and self-esteem. Children trust our judgment most of the time and things we say tend to stick with them. That’s why you should avoid comparing your child to others.
Growing up, I used to perform very well in school and my father would boast about it in front of my siblings. It used to make me very uncomfortable and cringe each time he would start bragging about my school reports. I just didn’t want my other siblings to feel like they were not good enough or to dislike me.
That’s exactly what happens when we compare our kids to each other. We may cause animosity among the kids. You might know that one of your kids is just the best child ever and be tempted to brag. However, some things are better not said in front of the other kids. They might end up feeling they’re not good enough or that you don’t love them much. At the end of the day you want your child to be wholesome, whether they are talented or not.
Apart from destroying confidence or causing animosity among siblings, comparing kids can drive them to rebel. Two things can happen when you tell someone they are not good enough. The person might try to improve or might end up accepting that they’re just not good enough and give up. You don’t want to take that risk with your children by vocally comparing them to others.
One thing we need to understand is that sometimes our children are just where they need to be right now. If you feel otherwise, you help in a healthy and loving way. Don’t put unnecessary pressure on your child because you have this ideal picture of what they should be. Work with your child if they are unique. There is nothing wrong with that. That’s what makes parenting what it is; to nurture that uniqueness and make the best out of it.
Comparing your child to others; siblings or friends can also damage you as the parent. You put yourself under so much stress when you constantly think your child doesn’t measure up. At times you might end up feeling like you failed as a parent when your child isn’t as good as others. Often it really has nothing to do with your parental skills. You just brought a different individual into the world. Be the present parent you need to be. Your child will appreciate that you were there, no matter how much they didn’t measure up. They will remember the love and support you provided.
It is granted that comparing children to others is going to happen. However, try to pay attention to what you say around your children. Focus on the positives rather than the negatives. Realize that your children will compare themselves to each other, don’t add to it. Your job is to nurture and to look for individual strengths in each child. By so doing, you set up your child up for success.
You may also want to check out this article by Poppy and Geoff. It has five great tips on how parents can stop comparing their kids. You will also find solution of why you should avoid comparing your child to others.
From A Wise Perennial