Don’t Compare Your Children, it’s something I’ve heard many times!
As parents, it’s natural to want the best for your children and to see them succeed. Sometimes, in our quest to help our children be their best selves, we compare them to other kids – their peers, their cousins, or even children we see on TV or in the movies. We might say things like, “You’re not trying hard enough,” or “Why can’t you be more like so-and-so?” Unfortunately, these comparisons can do more harm than good.
Here’s why you should never compare your children and how you can better encourage and praise them as individuals.
Comparisons Can Be Damaging
One of the main reasons you shouldn’t compare your children is because comparisons can be damaging to their self-esteem and sense of self-worth.
When you compare your child to someone else – even if you don’t mean it in a negative way – you’re implicitly sending the message that there’s something wrong with them as they are.
This can lead to feelings of inadequacy and insecurity that stick with them well into adulthood. In addition, when you compare your children to others, you’re teaching them to do the same.
Children learn that it’s okay to judge people and that it’s normal to constantly strive for an unattainable standard of perfection. This can lead to a lifetime of anxiety and dissatisfaction.
So what can you do instead? How can you encourage your children without making comparisons?
Encourage Effort Over Achievement
Acknowledge your child’s effort instead of fixating on their achievement. This helps them develop a growth mindset – the belief that intelligence and ability are things that can be developed over time through hard work, instead of being fixed traits that people are born with.
People with a growth mindset are more resilient and adaptable, and they’re more likely to take risks and persevere in the face of setbacks.
Focus On Their Strengths
When you focus on your child’s strengths instead of their weaknesses or what they lack, you help them develop a sense of pride and ownership in those strengths. This breeds confidence and allows them to feel good about themselves both now and in the future.
It also encourages them to continue developing those strengths instead of wasting time trying to improve upon their weaknesses. As a result, they’ll grow into well-rounded individuals who are confident in themselves and their abilities.
Encourage Them as Individuals
Remember that each child is unique and has different needs, interests, strengths, and weaknesses. What works for one child might not work for another, so don’t try to force them into a mold or compare them to someone else.
By encouraging them as individuals, you help children reach their full potential while still staying true to themselves.
Just Don’t Compare!
Comparisons are damaging; they hurt self-esteem, foster feelings of inadequacy, teach kids it’s okay to judge people harshly and creates an unattainable standard of perfectionism.
So How Do We Better Encourage Our Kids?
We should focus on effort over achievement, focus on their strengths and encourage them as individuals. By doing so our kids will grow into well-rounded individuals who are confident because we took the time encourage THEM instead focus on Comparison.
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