How comparing one child to another has a negative impact on the child in question?
Parents routinely compare one child to another, particularly in multichild families. Even if there are not multiple children in the family, a child is often compared to a nonrelated child or another relative. Parents believe that comparing one child to another makes the former change his/her ways and to be more confident; in fact, it does quite the opposite.
This is probably true. It creates more problems than it solves. Saying a child should be more like...... or act more like....... does more harm than good. I was fortunate, for though I had two brothers and two sisters (I was the middle child of five) I can't recall that ever have being said to me.
It gets back to the parents of the parents, and the parents of the parents of the parents. Who teaches parents these things? What school, or university course teaches such vital stuff? Very few, I expect. Such wisdom has to be learned the hard way through suffering or, if you're fortunate to be a reader of the right literature, someone who has read the right books.
Our culture is one of comparison. It applies to just about everything: IQ tests, sporting prowess, attractiveness. Competition, rivalry, winning and losing - will we humans ever get over such artificially created pressures? And so many believe it's actually good for us...
so true. been there and had it happen. the one benefit is that it can make you try harder and be stronger mind wise. it doesn't make it ok, in fact i think it is terrible . i think it's human nature to compare , even adults comparing their spouse to another one is common.
gm....Please.....show me a parent who actually will compare a child with another child, in any regard whatsoever, for whatever misguided reason, and I will show you an ignorant, inconsiderate A$$hole who does not deserve to be parenting anything except perhaps, a boa constrictor!........
I don't believe in comparing any child to another. Every individual has a mind of their own. Trying to change your child because of another doesn't work in the real world. Parents who such things are living in a dreamland. Your child is who he is in failing to believe that then that family is falling apart for sure, and no good parent should compare their child to another it merely a weak side of that parent. I know of people who behave in this way. The child affected becomes less confident and lacks personality, and self-esteem.
I experienced this myself and being compared to my sister, cousins, and friends definitely had a negative impact on me. Whenever my sister and I fought, my parents would compare us to some of our cousins, who apparently "got along great." This just made us resent that we couldn't get along like them, and we hated each other more.
I had horrible depression throughout my childhood. Sometimes I was really quiet, which made me look weak and led to bullying. At first, I stood up for myself, which sometimes caused fights (but usually ended better than if I hadn't.) Whenever my parents found out I'd defended myself, they'd punish ME for not just ignoring them. I'd try to explain that there is only so much someone can take, and they'd say, "Your sister/cousin/etc. doesn't have enemies" or "I bet (friend's child) doesn't cuss at people like that." It got to the point where I felt like I deserved to be bullied for some reason.
I hate to sound like I'm blaming all my problems on my family, but I think it really affected my self-esteem, even to this day.
By the way, this question just gave me an idea for a hub. Thanks!
Comparing one child to another teaches the child that our love is conditional. Rather, I think it is best to love each child unconditionally, and guide each child to be his or her truest and best self. Of course, that's a tall order, especially since we have to do it ourselves first!
I don't remember being compared to my sister or her being compared to me, but that didn't stop her feeling compared. Even when a parent says "Jane is so good at maths, she got the best grade in the class", that impacts on the sibling who is not so great at maths. Well that's what happened with me.
I was always good at maths and languages, and my parents used to sing my praises no end. Because of this my sister felt like she could never compete in these areas, so she didn't try at these subjects. She felt that these were "my subjects". She excelled in literature, which was great, but she felt very limited, because of this unspoken competition.
So perhaps it's not just obvious comparing that parents need to avoid, but singing the praises of one sibling compared to the other. It's a minefield really!
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