Hey there ladies, it’s been a while since you have received a post from myself so here it is. This is probably going to be typed in instalments, so mind me for losing my train of thought here and there. Also, forgive me for this is a bit of a rant post as well.
Kids! Our darling, wonderful little gems! They are all so amazing, and by all, I mean yours, mine and every other little cutie pie on this earth. But since they are all so cute and so amazing in their own special way, it bothers me how some parents begin to compare their kids with others.
I’m not talking about the comparison of “look, your brother is eating so neatly, why are you so messy?”. No, I’m talking about the comparison of “Did you see Jim? He can already go to the toilet by himself. What’s wrong with you? Why aren’t you doing it?”. How many of you think that, that is wrong? Because I DO. How can you put your child through that? Children do not take well to negative criticism. I mean, what do you expect? They are tiny beings with tender hearts, don’t you think you’re hurting their feelings by treating them like there is something wrong because he is not (for lack of a better term) on par with another kid?
Here I am with my 2 and a half year old as well as my 1 and a half year old, none of them are potty trained. Did you feel the earth shake? Was there a bolt of lightning in the sky? Nope, guess there wasn’t and even if there was, it’s probably just a coincidence. My belief in regard to children is simple. Don’t force them, don’t push them and don’t scare them into growing. Kids are special, different and wonderful. When it is time for them to reach that milestone and when they are ready to do something, they will. It’s okay to give them a gentle nudge in the right direction but a gentle one, not a push and not a shove.
These comparisons can affect a child negatively. Take a look at how:
Comparison causes self doubt – Do I have to explain this one? If your child is continously being compared to another, your child will always wonder whether they will ever be ‘good enough‘.
Self doubt results in low self esteem – If your child is always wondering whether he/she will ever truly match up to your expectations or to someone else entirely for that matter, your child will begin to accept that someone else is better and he/she is never going to be good enough. This will definitely damage your child’s morale and self esteem.
Rebellion – Considering that your child feels that you consider them ‘not good enough‘, he/she might feel that it’s no longer worth it to even try. Instead of trying to beat your comparison, your child may act out in a completely different way by rebelling against everything you put forward.
Jealousy & Rivalry – Of course, if you continously compare your child to another, the green eyed monster will definitely be a visitor. DON’T allow this to happen. It creates rivalry between children. Children are meant to be carefree and happy, not hating and disliking one another.
Damage to the parent/child relationship – You are hurting your child by continuosly praising someone else’s accomplishments and failing to notice your own kid’s amazing ones. As your child begins to feel more and more hurt, he/she is only going to want to distance himself from you. This can only damage your relationship and you will lose touch with your child.
As a child, my parents did not brag about me (although I was and still am quite exceptional) and they most certainly did not compare me to any other child. They applauded at my triumphs and tried to help me with my problems. NEVER did they try to make me fit in. This is the way that I will raise my children, always helping them to be better but never reminding them about whose ahead of them because after all we are all the same but different.
If you are reading this and are agreeing with what I am saying, spread the word. Let us raise amazing and wonderful individuals in a world were hating someone just because we were compared to them in our childhood is a thing of the past!