The definition of “compare” according to the Webster dictionary is estimate, measure, or note the similarity or dissimilarity between two or more things. In today’s world we can’t help but be competitive and compare our accomplishments to others. This also includes our sweet children’s accomplishments as well. The problem with comparing our children to other children or even their siblings is that every child is very different and hits milestones at various stages. Such as one child could have walked at nine months and the other child not till fourteen months. But on the flip side the first child didn’t talk till thirteen months and the other at ten months. You cause stress when you compare your children.
We all internally know this right? Yet even as adults we’re constantly comparing areas in our lives to others. Just as a reminder, here’s 4 Reasons To Not Compare Your Children
Don’t compare your life to others. There is no comparison between the Sun and the Moon. Both each shine when it’s their time.
1. It breaks down a child’s confidence and causes self-doubt.
When a child hears you say look what she is doing already. Why can’t you do that? It breaks them down and makes them question their abilities. It is very hard work to rebuild a child’s self-esteem. Especially when it is broken down by someone they trust and love. This can be just as damaging if it is between siblings. Instead of doing a direct comparison find strengths that each child has and highlight those special abilities.
Jealousy comes from counting others’ blessing instead of our own
2 & 3. Jealousy and Negativity.
Jealousy will eventually rear its ugly head. It is human nature to want praise and acknowledgement. Even at a very young age a child wants to know they have done good or hear how amazing they are. When we compare that blacks out the child’s accomplishment and over seats their confidence. With a child constantly being compared to a sibling or another child they begin to envy and resent the other child. The child that is always thought of oh look what that kid can do why can’t you, starts to think negatively and why even try if it isn’t ever going to be good enough.
4. It damages the parent and child relationship.
What kid hasn’t tried to please their parents? We want to impress and get praise from the get-go with our parents. But if a child is always being compared and brought down, they let that negativity take over. They also don’t connect and seek shelter and acceptance elsewhere.
As a parent we all want our child to be exceptional. However, we need to embrace their talents at their own levels and time. Every child shines, just not at the same time.
While there’s no rule book to parenting, this an extremely important concept to consider in everyday activities. The hope that one day all children will be able to shine instead of compared. Thank you for reading!
Lead Pre-Kindergarten Teacher
Social Emotional Coordinator