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The Fault of Comparison

Posted on 11-12-2016

We know how well we are doing when we compare ourselves to those around us. If you’re more successful than your neighbors, then you’re doing pretty well. If you’re not, then you may feel like you need to step up your game. This tendency to compare ourselves to the success of others rolls over into how we view our children. Is little Johnny smarter than Sally, or is he failing by not measuring up?

Constantly feeling pressured to be “good enough” is not healthy, and being compared to friends may cause feelings of bitterness in your child toward his friends instead of motivating and encouraging them. “Sally can do this; why can’t you?” Like Mark Twain said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.”

We should stop worrying so much about their academic success and instead learn to be concerned with their psychological and emotional development. Instead of worrying about our children and scrambling to keep them at the top of their class, we have to understand that every child develops at their own unique pace. How are they developing emotionally? Are they learning to be kind and empathetic? Are they coping well with any stressors that they may have, or are they overwhelmed with the pressure to be smart?

“Don’t waste time chasing after success or comparing yourself to others. Every flower blooms at a different pace.” –Suzy Kassem

Set realistic expectations for your child, and teach them how to learn. Recognize what their strengths are, and patiently help them work on their weaknesses. If you teach your child that learning is fun, they will continue on a quest for knowledge and wisdom their whole lives. Set small personal goals for them to work toward, and make it fun! Be encouraging and supportive as you discover your child’s unique strengths and natural intellectual abilities.

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