“It’s that time of the year where I get to meet my cousins, aunties and Uncles, Its Grandpa's Birthday. I am so excited because I will get to eat lots of cakes, chocolates and play. Mum asked me to bring her bag from the room and I hurriedly went to get, I slipped on my way back and hit a table with drinks on it. She screamed my name and said," You never get to do anything right, unlike your sister, ordinarily getting my bag is a big task for you, right? ‘’
The comparison involves taking note of similarities or differences between two things. Objects can be compared but definitely not humans especially children. Every child is unique in his or her own special way including identical twins. A famous quote says every child is gifted, they just unwrap their packages at a different time. Just like the development of a child from a newborn to an infant takes a process, so also is childhood.
The comparison has various negative consequences on the child unknown to the parents, here are some of the effects of comparison:
- Poor self-esteem and lack of confidence: Whenever you compare your child to another child, it makes the child believe that he is not good enough, questions his self-worth and he wonders why he cannot achieve what the other children achieve. This self-doubt will lower his self-confidence and he may start to believe that he is not capable of doing certain things. Poor self-esteem has a great effect on the child's life. It will prevent the child from having a dream for the future as well as having the zeal or motivation to live.
- Stress: comparing your child to someone else is bound to stress him out. There is the need to overwork to gain your approval and undue pressure which will leave him tired and exhausted. The burden that he feels to impress you may stress him out so much to the extent that it may affect his academic performance as well as other aspects of his life. Learn what works best to get your child to work harder without making him feel the second rate. By doing so, your child will feel less stressed and he is bound to perform better.
- Resentment towards other children: Being compared to other children may cause your child to develop feelings of hatred and jealousy towards other children even if it’s a sibling. if he is always reminded of how he is unable to do or achieve something that other children have done he may start to dislike, envy or start to mistreat the other child just because he feels envy towards them
- Social withdrawal: when a child gets tired of being compared, he begins to distance himself gradually from the parents ( especially the one who constantly accuses the child), family members and friends. The child may stop opening up to you and shut himself out of your life completely. The child completely gives up and doesn't even attempt things anymore.
The comparison identifies the weakness of a child and ignores his strengths, talents and unique gifts. Let children know that you are proud of their successes and encourage them to constantly work hard without comparing their achievements to those of others. This will build up their self-confidence and also make it easier for them to accept themselves for who they are. As parents are proud of your children for what they are. Give them your love and strive to build a confident person out of your child.