Each and every child is a genius to his or her parent, but not every parent is equipped with the knowledge or confidence to develop their child’s creative, intellectual potential to its fullest extent. All parents compare their children with each other or with other children at some point or another. It is a natural human tendency to do so. However, this does not imply that comparing children is a healthy practice. As they say – Comparison is the thief of pure joy! Each child is unique and has his own set of strength and weaknesses, thus, parents must never indulge in comparing their offspring with others. They should rather celebrate the differences in the children.
The Comparison can be detrimental:
Although all parents are reminded time and again to inhibit this habit, they cannot help themselves. They use it as a yardstick to assess their child, to ascertain whether their child is just an average child or at par with others. In the process, they do not realize that they are hampering the growth and mental development of their own children. Many parents unintentionally express their satisfaction or dissatisfaction with one child by comparing him/her to their other child. This negativity affects his emotional quotient. Even the best parents are bound to do this sometime or another. They praise the skills and physical appearance of one child in front of another. To put an example, a parent may say, “Look at your friend, he always tops his class. Why can’t you do it too?” making the child consider he is dim-witted rather than pressing him to work harder for his grades. Such situations may seem to cause not only a momentary displeasure but a lifelong emotional trauma for the child.
Your child is special!
One must realize and accept the fact that every child is special. Not every child may excel in every field, but that does not mean that he/she is any less than other children. They may have special skills which are waiting to tap. Your child may not excel in academics, but he/ she can be an excellent orator or cricketer. You must acknowledge your child’s abilities and also make him realize that how special they are to you. Measuring them against each other will only diminish their special talents and develop an inferiority complex in them. They feel that they are less loved than their sibling and may become jealous of them.
Let the child be!
Every human has unique skill sets. Each parent longs to find the special talent in their child so that the child can shine among others. Often, the weight of their aspirations burdens their child too much and further demoralizes him/her. If one does not have that one special talent, it is not the end of the world for the child. Time will unfold the uniqueness of your child eventually. The world is full of examples of successful people who were considered below average in their childhood. We all are familiar with Albert Einstein, Winston Churchill, and Helen Keller.
Study and understand your child
Parents must also keep this in mind that the children possess a range of skills and abilities that have nothing to do with them as parents. It is not because of the parent’s genes or their incredible parenting ability that the child is a natural artist or is autistic. The parents must simply take pride in their children. There is no need to either brag about their child’s achievements or undermine them. Identify your child’s personality and describe a situation without making reference to other children. For example, instead of saying “Why can’t you wear a clean shirt like your brother?” say “Your shirt is dirty, wear a clean one.”
Believe in your child:
The parents affect the child’s development to the maximum extent. So, they must be extremely careful about the words they choose and their actions towards their children. They must always encourage the child to do what he does best and realize that he/she cannot excel in everything he/she does. Often, loving and encouraging words or a hug can go a long way in motivating a child. Positivity is a powerful thing indeed! Children will accept themselves better and understand each other if the parents do not compare them. The children are themselves conscious of their differences, success, and failures. If parents want to talk to their child about his/her area of weakness, it will be more effective to do it on a one-to-one basis in an unbiased manner. The more you restrain yourself from comparing your child, the better it is.
Parents must pay heed to each word and action as it can seriously affect the child’s perception of himself/herself. Hence, they must realize that every child possesses unique abilities and he/she must not be undermined. One must avoid weighing one’s preferences over one’s child and ensure that the kid feels loved and accepted. This ensures that your child goes from strength to strength in all his/her endeavors in life and does not suffer from any emotional setback. As the emotional quotient of the child is equally important to his/her intelligence quotient.
- Be your child’s guide and playmate.
- Guide gently, don’t order.
- Nurture a love for development of knowledge.
- Adopt the un-to-learn attitude.
- Monitor TV / Internet Programmers.
- Take your child out with you from a very young age.