“Mr Khanna’s son scored a 90”, “Monika Aunty’s daughter stood first in her class”, “Look at your elder brother!”, “Do you know your friend will be competing in national level tournament?”. Sounds familiar? Sure it does! From the time a child takes birth, comparisons become a yardstick to measure his/her worth. It is a common practice used by parents to bolster the performance of the child. They fail to understand here that every child is unique and different. Instead they constantly harangue them about how well others are doing. Even subtle insinuations involving comparison can hurt the child deeply. Read further to find out the reasons why you should not compare your child.
1. Fosters antagonism
Comparing your child to another is not only unpleasant but also bad. It can breed negativity in the child which could further result into extreme hatred. Comparison with his/her classmate or the neighbour next door will foster only antagonism in the child and he/she would suffer pangs of extreme jealousy which can have dire repercussions. Instead of making comparisons, appreciate the effort your child has put in.
2. Inferiority complex
Constant comparisons and praising other children might develop an inferiority complex in your child. The child will always feel inferior to other children which will lower his/her self esteem. It would boil down the confidence level and the child might foster the feeling that he/she is not good enough no matter how hard he/she tries. Instead, set benchmarks for your child. Help him/her achieve the goals that he/she needs to accomplish.
3. Unfair pressure
Comparisons are fatal for the mental as well as physical health of the child. Every child is different and parents should let them develop at their own pace. Comparing them to children who are doing better would only create an unfair pressure on them as they will be in the race to outshine others. This will not only rob them of real learning but also push them into depression if they fail in the attempt. Instead, let them follow their interests and not push them into what others are doing.
4. Socially withdrawn
Parents often push children into becoming someone they are not and fail to accept them for who they are. This can make them socially withdrawn. Trying to be like others will never instil confidence in them and they shall lose their identity. They will try to avoid people and fear to participate in any activity. Instead, teach them its okay to make mistakes and learn from them.
5. Push them away
Instead of doing any good to the child, comparisons can actually push them away. It can result into a distance between the parents and the child. The child might develop the feeling of indifference after a point of time and would try to keep away. He/she would think of you as someone who is hard to please and will thus give up. Instead, encourage them and support them in their endeavours.
True, as parents you wish the best for your child. However, no matter how hard you try, avoiding such comparisons altogether is difficult. Even if you try to refrain from doing so, you end up comparing. You should take extreme care and abstain from indulging into the same. As parents all you need to do is implement the right ways that will bolster the performance of your child without making any comparisons whatsoever.