Keeping away from comparisons
Most of us have compared ourselves with others at some point in our life. Many of us do it habitually. Have you ever thought how liberating life could feel if we stopped comparing ourselves to others?
The habit to compare ‘unnecessarily’ begins to build as early as two or three years of age. Often we hear others or ourselves saying these dialogues.
“Look how he is doing it so well!”
“Look how she is not crying.”
“Look how she is a good girl.”
“Look how he listens to his mom.”
They are absolutely well intentioned and when we say them, we are also showing our child what to model.
But here’s what happens instead:
The child learns that
- their behaviour (and themselves) are not accepted (since the line between their actions and their self is a blur)
- They are not good enough
- They need to learn/copy the ‘behaviour’ of others
- The other child is good enough/perfect (we may feel this when we look at other peoples’ social media and wonder how their life seems perfect)
- Rather than being authentic, it is more desirable to behave in acceptable ways (this is the beginning of masking the truth)
It is crucial for a child’s healthy emotional and intellectual growth that the child feels good enough and accepted AS THEY ARE. Also, we don’t know enough about the journeys and struggles of the other children (and people in our case) who we compare our child (or ourselves) with.
- Observe yourself for when you feel the urge to compare your child with someone else (out loud or privately)
- Remind yourself that your child and their journeys are unique, their needs are also unique.
- Ask yourself “What is my child struggling with right now? What does my child NEED right now? How can I be with my child and support my child through this?”
- Observe yourself more closely when you are on playdates and other children and parents are around. Watch out for comparisons and refrain from participating.