Every mom does it at times. Some moms do it a lot. You are talking to one of your friends about their kids and you start comparing your kids in your mind. Maybe you do it out loud too. They tell you that their kid is getting certain grades or is starting to show some sort of behavior at an early age, and then you start comparing them to your kids,
Most of us do this mentally without even wondering if it is the right thing to do or not. We want to compare our kids and know whether they are normal, exceptional or lagging behind everyone else. This is completely normal to do, but it doesn’t mean it is always healthy.
Here Is the Issue
So, what is the problem with a little comparison? Well, it breeds feelings of inadequacy or superiority for one. If your kid is falling behind the other kid you are comparing them to, then you feel like you are not doing enough or your child isn’t doing enough. This can manifest itself as anger or frustration at yourself or your child. It can also lead to you pushing your child harder than they deserve to be, just so you can get them to achieve at a level they may not be able to. Not all kids are at the same level and are capable of doing the same things. You have to realize your kid’s shortcomings.
If your kid is ahead of the other kid you are comparing them to, then you may feel like you can just ease up and not keep pushing your kid to do things and getting them out of their comfort zone. You may let your kid fall behind because you don’t feel like they need to be doing all that they are doing. You can start to become slack and lazy with your kid instead of inspiring them to achieve and do better. Or you can take it another way and start to feel like you are better than other parents or that your kid is better than others and kind of distance yourself from other people. That can be dangerous behaviour as well.
What you want to do is realize not only that you are comparing but also how the comparison affects you and your child. Look at your behaviours and examine them to see if they are dangerous. You may not realize what you are doing to yourself, to your child or to other people until it is brought to your attention, so you can consider this a call to pay more attention.
Ultimately, you have to realize that every kid is different. Yours may never be able to compete at the same level in studies or sports as some other other kids. Some kids are simply smarter, more talented or more athletic. That does not mean your child is incapable of achievement. You have to find your child’s strengths and play to those. Work on our child’s weaknesses as well, but don’t punish your child for something that they cannot help.
Your child is unique, and that is something that should be celebrated.
Your Child and You
You should also not read your child as measuring stick of your own achievement. Just because your child achieves something that doesn’t mean it was your doing. Just because your child fails at something, that does not mean it was your fault either. Some parents give themselves entirely to munch credit and blame themselves for every failure and gloat about every success. Your child is his or her own person, and you need to recognize that. Praise them when they do well and correct them where they go wrong, but do it in a way that is encouraging and loving.
There is a temptation beat yourself up over the failure of your child, and in some cases, that is productive. You do need to examine your role in your child’s growth and development. If your child isn’t cleaning their room very well, then maybe you don’t teach them. If your child is hanging out with the bad crowd, then maybe you are not being strict enough about what goes on the life. These are things that you can change by starting with some self-examination, but you need to be able to differentiate between your effects on our child and their ability to make their own decisions.
If you see your child’s; behaviour changing in unexpected and unwanted ways, then it may be time to take them aside and deal with it. You need to spend as much time as possible with your child to correct bad behaviours and get them on the right track. Gena from “Diamond Clean” says “That may mean taking some time off from your job or hiring a cleaning service to do your household chores for a while. Whatever it takes, your child is worth the investment”.
However, a lot of times, the problems that parents have with their child are entirely imagined ones. They feel like their child is not achieving like they think or they simply ignore ether child’s personal life because they are doing well. These things come about from comparing your kid to others, and you need to see your child as an independent entity with their own abilities and achievement levels. Once you do that, you will be able to identify problems earlier and deal with them more directly.
You also want to be careful to never compare your child out loud to others when you are correcting behaviour or praising behaviour. Don’t tell you kid that they should be doing better because so and so is doing better. Don’t tell them that even though they didn’t come first place, at least they did not completely fail like so and so. You give your child a spirit of comparison then that is unhealthy. They will be constantly comparing themselves to others and their achievements to the achievements of others in a way that is is not good for them, and you want to stop the comparison problem cold.