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“Sharma jee ka ladka.” Something we are all familiar with. Being compared is basically a part of our DNA. But is it really a good idea to compare children?
“Can’t you be like Vritti?” I ask my eleven year old daughter.
“Who is Vritti?” my father questions in a very irate voice. “Do you mean Vritti is the parameter to judge your daughter’s performances, I mean – good, better and excellent?” he continued.
The annoyance was palpable in the tone and tenor of his voice.
Phat! I come back to my senses. What am I doing?
You heard me right. I was comparing my daughter with another child. Comparison is a familiar approach to realise your child’s potential. The means of resorting to giving examples of accomplishments of other children is actually detrimental for the child’s growth.
It is a useless activity and increases the anxiety/stress level in children. Often, it is observed that the sole purpose of comparing is to induce a feeling of competition in the child. And we know the child will give his/her best to be at par or surpass the other child’s capabilities.
Dear parents, do you even know if it is working in favour of (or against) your child?
Just like all five of our fingers are not alike, neither are the children. No two children are similar when we talk about mental ability, brawn, talent and interest.
It goes true for twins as well. Constant bragging about someone’s achievement can have a lasting effect on your child. Mind you, I am talking about the negative consequences and here are some of them.
You, actually, are bullying the child with the constant comparison. Are you aware that it would double the anxiety and can make the child an insomniac?
It is always better to settle down with your child and sort out the issue that you feel is bothering your child. Formulate joint solutions.
This is a pointer where the parent should actually know that it can emotionally destroy the child forever. The child starts suffering from an inferiority complex that they are good for nothing when compared to others.
And we all know how dangerous this thought is. As I said if you find certain lapses in your child’s performances, instead of bullying try discussing and devising a solution.
Else, this feeling is bound to destroy the emotional and academic growth of the child.
All children take efforts to improve and as parents, we know that very well. Be it academia, extracurricular activities, the child is constantly on the task to improve himself/herself.
Despite these efforts if all the child gets to hear is praises of another peer mind you, it will be a bigger blow to their self-worth. And the net result will be poor performance.
Who likes constantly being mocked, taunted and compared? I am sure adults will unanimously agree that they don’t. Similarly, the children don’t like it either. If your child is constantly mocked or intimidated and compared, then they might be apprehensive in social situations. And they will try and avoid any and every social interaction with you.
Once the child figures out that no matter how hard they try, it is impossible to please you, since you already have a role model, get ready to hear bad news.
You will notice a change in your child’s attitude and they will no longer bother to please you.
Your child may be good at painting while you prefer him/her to go for tennis practice. At such times, the child faces a predicament. Neither will his/her painting skills be appreciated nor will s/he learn proper tennis.
And here is the bad news again. The painting talent which s/he harboured in them and had a room to grow or I say they could have made a career out of it, will be lost.
So dear parents, your tennis player will not only be a loser in the sports category but also in the talent where s/he had potential.
It is very obvious for the children to feel that something is wrong with them if you constantly compare them with with their siblings, cousins or friends. This will definitely affect your relationship with your child where they will try and avoid you.
Further, this will lead to them losing trust in the parent and developmental and behavioural maladies in the future.
Never make the mistake of comparing one child with another. This will foster rivalry among siblings. That in turn, will lead to aggressive behaviour, fights and taunts. As mentioned earlier, the feeling of inferiority complex will develop and we all know how detrimental it can be.
Nurture the positives in your child and bring up him/her as a confident individual. Appreciate his/her efforts, praise the strength, and help them fight their weaknesses. Do not set unrealistic expectations.
Every child is unique. Every child has his/her areas of interests so cultivate your child accordingly. And in return you will be the proud parent of a successful child.
Picture credits: Pexels
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Rimli Bhattacharya is a First class gold medalist in Mechanical Engineering from National Institute of
Of Apples And Oranges (Part 1):Why Comparing Yourself To Your Children Is A Bad Idea
Of Apples And Oranges (Part 2): Why Comparing Your Child To Another Never Works
“I’m The Best!” Err… No, You’re Not. And It’s Okay!
I Don’t Expect My Child To Achieve My Dreams. She Will Live Her Dreams, Not Mine!
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