Every child is born with unique traits, talents, attitudes and personalities. As parents, you love your child just the way they are, don’t you? After all, they are a piece of your heart! Children are a precious gift from above! As parents, you are responsible for bringing up their children with the right values, provide education and mould them into kind and compassionate humans.
We all agree that parenting is not a smooth ride. It’s beautiful but comes with some challenging times as well. This makes parenting a roller coaster ride- filled with adventurous and sweet memories too.
While a father and mother are considered role models, sometimes we do not act in a healthy positive way towards our children. In this fast-paced world filled with endless opportunities to gain knowledge and skills, we end up comparing our little young minds to others children or even their siblings. Now, for some, this might sound like the ideal thing to do to push or motivate children to perform better either in their academics or sports but this is NOT the way to go if you want to build your child to become their confident self when they grow up and achieve their full potential. Let us look at ten reasons why as a parent, you must never compare your child with other children or siblings.
- Causes low self-esteem:
Children look up to their parents for their attention, unconditional love and care. And when that parent, compares them to others, especially to point out their weakness, they get thrown away in an instant! It’s a terribly frightening experience for a child to hear. It makes them feel less about their capabilities and makes them feel unloved, and lonely too. Over time they suffer from low self-esteem.
- Causes anxiety and increases stress on their tiny minds
It’s common that children feel anxious every time they underperform. Each child is different- not everyone is good at math. Each child has different strengths and weaknesses. Some are good at cricket and some can swim well. The same applies to us adults as well, don’t you think? So, when you compare your child for not performing up to your expectations, it puts a great amount of stress on their mind. Anxiety and stress in a young mind deteriorate their mental health. This hinders a child’s growth even in areas where their strength lies.
- Lose their confidence
Put yourselves in your child’s shoes for a moment. How would you feel if your boss compares you to other colleagues in front of others? Think about how you would feel if no matter how hard you work, you are never appreciated? And how would you feel if your boss things that make you feel you can never be good enough for the job?
Now, think of your child in the same way. You are not a boss to your child. But, you are their mother…you are their father! You are their everything! So, when you compare your child in a negative light, you are indirectly hurting them; you are displaying that your love is conditional and that you don’t value them. Your child feels worthless and it makes them lose their confidence. What a tragedy is that! No parent would want this for their child. Yet, many say such things without realising the life-long damage it does to their little one’s mind and soul. Pause and think before you use words that you feel might hurt your child.
- Makes your child feel unimportant
When do you, as an adult or as a parent feel important? You would feel important when you are heard; when you are loved through words and actions, right?
Would you feel important if your spouse or family member or friend does not value how you feel; does not listen to your words or says hurtful things about your capabilities? Absolutely no, right? Your child also feels the same – that he/she is not important in the family. That they are not a valued member anymore.
- Makes a child feel shy and insecure
The consequence of losing confidence is that the child feels shy and prefers to stay away from interacting with you and others. This humiliation creates an insecurity. Gradually, it leads to feelings of loneliness causing developmental issues in some children.
- Child resents parents/siblings/other children
If parents continue to compare throughout the early years, the child starts to resent his/her own parent or siblings to the extent that the bitterness gets into the mind of the child forever. This impacts the kind of relationships the child forms even with others in the society. In many real-life cases, it has been observed that the child grows up to behave exactly like their parent! We need to break this chain of resentment and hatred to create a more compassionate world. It all starts with you as a parent. You hold a big role in the society, so be the parent you would want to have yourself. Good parenting is a necessity.
- Child becomes introverted
Comparison makes a child introverted and effects their confidence. They do not freely share their opinions or thoughts. They refuse to socialise. It changes their personality forever because of the huge negative impact on her mind.
- Negative impact on relationships
Children grow up to have very less interaction with their peers leading to few or no strong relationship with friends or family. Fear of rejections creeps into them. Therefore, they end up leading lonely lives.
- Makes a child unhappy
This is obvious, isn’t it? How can children be happy if they feel their mother or father always blame them or point out their weakness? Unhappy. Sad. Frustrated. These are just a few words to describe what they feel. Prolonged unhappiness leads to mental health issues like depression creating a void that is hard to fill. It’s a parents responsibility to not let this happen.
- Impacts child’s future in a negative way
Parents wish only good, only the very best for their children. By stopping yourself from comparing your child to others, you are doing your child a favour that they will value and be grateful for all their lives. This doesn’t mean you have to always praise your child even if they are wrong. It means, as a parent you show them that they accepted with their flaws and give them the support they need to gain the skills they need.