Every parent wants the best thing for their kids. You’d like to see them be the best they can and inspire them to do whatever they can. It’s completely natural. However, the need to see your child excel will also lead you to compare them to other people, and this is a major issue. Continue reading to know the effects of comparing a child with others.
Why Are Parents Comparing Their Children With Other Children?
Parents dream of watching their children excel in all efforts, but they know less that comparing children is never feasible. Parents making any attempt to improve their child’s success is very standard practice. They assume that this will boost the learning and abilities of children, but it adversely impacts their sense of trust.
Why You Should Not Compare The Siblings?
While you may believe that by comparing your child to a sibling, you are motivating your child to be older/young, I am sad to tell you that you are doing more harm than good. Research has shown that when you, as parents, continuously equate one sibling to the other, there are different effects that few prominent ones have:
- Lifelong sibling rivalry will then intensify into a war of wills at the latter stage of their lives.
- A lifelong feeling of inadequacy in a child like that, so much so that even if there was something else that the child excelled in him or her, he or she will stop trying because he or she is not good for you in his or her mind.
Yes, that’s the sort of impact a comparison has on the mind of a child.
Long Term Effects Of Comparing Child With Others
Constantly comparing your child to other children can have the following long-lasting impact on their social, emotional, and physical growth.
1. Lower self-esteem
Whenever you compare your child with another child, slowly they feed away. And if you want to develop your overall parenting skills, you should step away from doing so.
And when you do, the kids will tend to feel that they are not good enough and it leaves them in doubt about themselves. They will begin to wonder why they cannot do what the children they are compared to do, which, in turn, would make them doubt their own abilities.
This self-doubt may lower their self-confidence, and they will continue to feel that they are incapable of doing such tasks.
Although it is never the parent’s goal to make their child feel less, a constant comparison should make your child feel unworthy. Low self-esteem can affect your child’s mental health, which can have a direct effect on their overall life.
While it is a means to motivate your child to work harder and also to inspire a healthy rivalry, pointing out the achievements of another child can be a way to compare and therefore be avoided.
2. Less social event participation
When the children are compared to peers or siblings they naturally reduce their participation in social activities. Since your negative remarks or criticisms progressively just cause him/her unhappiness and dissatisfaction – they feel “not good enough.” Their sense of full acceptance in the world begins with you, if it doesn’t come from you, the child doesn’t expect it from anywhere or anyone else.
3. Comparison kills contentment
As a parent, if you continually compare your own child to other children, you will start to believe that your child is not good enough. You can start to see the children of other people differently than your own, and that is really dangerous.
Although it is perfectly natural for a parent to want their child to succeed, when you start comparing them to other children, you will start questioning their abilities.
If you once were comfortable with the grades your child holds, you could start questioning yourself as a parent and even your child when you see other grades of kids that perform better. You might not begin to feel content with your own kids.
Although these feelings might not even be articulated loudly, having them isn’t something that most people would like.
Therefore you must learn to understand and embrace your child’s skills. Parenting is already a daunting task and it would only be harder to compare your child to other kids.
Instead, remember that you are fortunate enough to have a kid up and be pleased with who it is.
4. Casual attitude
When we know it is almost impossible for someone to please, after some time we simply avoid making attempts to please that person. It’s simple human psychology. If your child has a message that you’re always disappointed with him/her, he/she will stop making any effort and just do what he/she wants.
5. Comparison is a source of anger towards other children
Compared with other children, your child will develop hate and envy for other children. If they are reminded of how they are unable to do or do anything that other children have done, they can begin to hate or envy other children.
They can openly begin to mistreat the other child only because they feel jealousy – even though the other child is their sibling.
Therefore, it is important to demonstrate that these feelings don’t have to grow by not comparing them with other children.
6. Does not confide in you
It is normal that your child does not trust you and be frank and open to you. As I said before, children have the faith of full acceptance, first and foremost from you and then from the outside world. Your lack of trust and your lack of understanding of your child’s abilities create a divide between you two, which could be difficult to cross your entire lifetime.
So, these are the effects of comparing a child with others.
It is highly possible to raise a child without having to compare it with other children. Set the targets to meet them instead of comparing them to others. Encourage their talents and honor their achievements. Teach them that it’s all right to have some weaknesses and help them in any way you can. Above all, always encourage them and show them respect, and you will see that they will always do their hardest to make you proud.
Also Read: How To Raise A Confident Child?