Why comparison is not good for your child
Created by Sugandha Tiwari Updated on Jan 18, 2020
One of our neighbours’ favourite activities with her child is to constantly keep telling him, “You must learn from X, see how good he is in both his school work and sports”. And she is rude enough to do this in public! Such instances force me and motivate me to write on topics like these.
I have a humble request to make to all you super awesome parents, if at all you are comparing your child with anyone else, please stop doing that. Your children are beautiful and special, and the only person in this world they look up to is you!
Why Is Comparison Not Good For Your Child?
When you compare your child to other children – he or she gets a signal that he or she is not good enough and that gradually eats into his or her confidence and self esteem leaving a lifelong impact on his or her not ‘Good Enough’ feeling.
Why Should You Not Compare The Siblings?
While you may feel that by comparing your child to the sibling, you are encouraging your child to be like the older/younger one, I am sorry to inform you that you are doing more harm than good. Research has shown that when you as parents constantly compare one sibling to the other, there are various repercussions few prominent ones being
- Lifelong sibling rivalry then can escalate into a battle of wills at the later stage of their lives
- Lifelong feeling of inadequacy in the compared child so much so that even if there was something else the child excelled in he or she will stop trying that because in his or her mind he or she is good for nothing for you
Yes, that’s the kind of effect comparison has on a child’s psyche.
What Are The Long Term Effects Of Comparison On Your Child?
Constantly comparing your child to other children can have the following, long-lasting effects on their psychological, emotional and physical development -
- Lower self-esteem and worth: Constant comparison is bound to make your child’s self-esteem suffer. No matter how hard your child tries to succeed and achieve something, the tougher his/her journey will become. S/he will begin considering himself/herself less than their peers and undermine their own capabilities as a result
- Less participation in social events: When you continue to compare your child with peers or siblings, his/her participation in social events/gatherings will automatically decrease. Since your negative comments or criticism will gradually create only unhappiness and disappointment for him/her– making them feel they are “not good enough”. Their feeling of complete acceptance in the world starts from you, if it’s not coming from you, the child does not expect it from anywhere or anyone else
- Casual attitude:It is basic human psychology that when we know that it’s nearly impossible to please someone, after a while we actually stop making any efforts to please that person. If your child has got the message that you always remain dissatisfied with him/her, s/hewill stop making any efforts, and will only do what pleases him/her
- Does not confide in you:It is natural for your child not to confide in you and be open and honest with you. Like I said earlier, children get the confidence of complete acceptance first and foremost from you and then from the outside world. Your lack of confidence in your child’s ability and your lack of appreciation for all his/her efforts will create a distance between the two of you, which can be hard to bridge throughout your lives
- Negative feelings towards others: Unfortunately by constantly comparing your child, sooner or later s/he will start thinking negatively of others and always look for ways to defeat people, humiliate them and show them down– because this is what they have learned from you
Have We As Parents Become More Competitive?
In India we are brought up in a highly competitive environment –which is not always a positive thing. As parents, we must understand that the world our children are growing up in today is very different from our times, and the same ways of parenting that our parents may haveapplied simply will not work for our children. We need to be more open and accepting to differences –whether it is in our children or others.If we can do this – we can ensure a successful, secure and happy future for our children.
Hopefully post reading this write-up you will think about it when comparing your child with other children. Remember that each child is unique with an individual talents and specialties. Recognise them, nurture them and see your child blossom into a confidence young man or woman.
Did you find Sugandha’s blog on the dangers of comparing your child with othersuseful? How do you help your child develop healthy self-esteem and positivity? Do leave your comments…. We love hearing from you!
| Sep 28, 2017
really a useful one! comparison between children /siblings can be really damaging and can have long term effects on childrens' mind .. it's not ethical on our part to compare two children as we need to understand each child is born with a different set of genes and is raised in a different environment. thank u so much for sharing this useful blog.
| Dec 13, 2018
Well Said.. Even sometimes I used to do that but my 6 years little one gets irritate & straight away says don't tell about others. Then immediately I stopped saying about with her reaction. It really gives much pain to the child when we compare with others.