Do you know what people need to stop doing? Comparing children. Whether you’re comparing your first kid against your second, your child versus someone else’s child, or even your grandkid amongst someone else’s grandchild. It is an unkind, unnecessary, purposeless, and ridiculous thing to do. Comparison only makes those individuals who are involved feel inadequate. You degrade them to a statistic or a timeline that is held to no standard.
As an adult who has been compared to her older sister for years, I can tell you it doesn’t benefit anyone. It leads to rebellion, resentment, and strained relationships. It made me feel like I had to be better than my sister at everything. It made my sister feel like she was on an invisible pedestal that made her uncomfortable. We grew up constantly comparing everything: our clothing, grades, who was better at what, and it all led to a strained relationship with one another and with our parents. We wanted to live up to this standard that our parents set for us and destroyed ourselves doing so. However, I’m glad to say that as my sister and I aged, we learned that this comparison didn’t represent who we are as individuals and our sisterly bond became a healthier relationship.
I’m now the mother of a toddler and I know a few others with children around her age, both family and friends. It’s wonderful watching all of these babies grow up and seeing them learn, explore, and understand the world around them. Do you know what the best part is? None of these kids are alike! They all have beautiful, unique, adorable, quirky, fun, and absolutely wonderful personalities and characteristics!
Regrettably I have seen and heard adults who are involved in these innocent lives comparing them against one another. “Look at what he can do!” “Can your child do that?” Or even talking about the children behind their parents backs. It upsets me to write this post because these are babies, toddlers, pre-schoolers. They are fun-loving innocent souls and you’re tainting the innocence of it all by playing the “who can do it better” game. How dare you.
What I am most curious about is what went wrong in the lives of these people that they feel the need to judge others? What makes them feel that they have the right to compare the lives of others? What upsetting childhood did they have that made them believe it’s completely normal to compare children and say one is better than the other? If you’re guilty of this behavior you need to re-evaluate your life and what you are doing with your time.
I have happily distanced myself from most of these people. Its tragic that majority of them are family members, nonetheless, I don’t care to spend time with them anymore. I may be coerced into doing so during the holidays but even those are fleeting and luckily so few. It’s distressing being in a room with someone who’s judging my daughter, comparing her, and slyly mentioning that she isn’t adequate enough or fitting your own made up standards. Again. How dare you.
It’s uncomfortable and draining to be in a room with someone who is judging another persons child. I loathe and am repelled by your behavior.
Woefully, it isn’t only my child who’s been victim to this. I have had discussions with several parents about this exact problem. It’s reached the point where parents have cut ties with family members and friends because of the severity of their behaviors.
The most unlucky part is that these innocent children are related to or are around your toxic, repulsive, manipulative, draining and poisonous, energy. Am I being harsh? No, not at all. Do you know what is harsh? Having a grown adult judge a child and say their child is better than yours, having a child grow up in a toxic environment and eventually becoming an individual like you. Aren’t we supposed to be raising kinder, compassionate, loving humans?
Childhood is beautiful. It’s a time filled with innocent fun, learning, engaging, exploring, wondering, and care-free living. We should encourage children to be themselves. I’m not sure if you have heard but children learn at their own rates! Isn’t that crazy? Your child pediatrician will also notify you that “Your child is doing great! And is so advanced for their age. Keep doing what you’re doing!”
What I find most amusing about grown adults judging children is that their lives are so dull, disappointing, and eventless that they spend their time critiquing children. I have a few better ways you can spend your time but that’s for another day.
Dear parents, if this is you please don’t do this anymore. You don’t want your child to feel inadequate nor would you want them to go around judging others and making them feel less-than. After all all behaviors are learned from home first. A better idea would be to congratulate your child on what they are doing correctly. “You’re doing an amazing job feeding yourself!” Not “your sister learned how to eat well before she was your age.”
Grandparents, oh dear grandparents, you are guilty of this unkind behavior as well. If anything you taught your children this behavior and now they are harming their own child with such unnecessary actions. Instead of telling your grandchild that they are doing something better or faster than their cousins, brothers, sisters, whomever, stop and think and then don’t do it. You don’t have a right to compare these children and their abilities. In fact, no one does.
It’s wonderful that the child in your life has accomplished something or reached a new milestone but it isn’t a justified reason to say someone else’s child isn’t as great because they have reached the same milestone at the same time span.
It is the responsibility of us parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, and guardians to raise a kinder generation. We need to come together and break toxic habits because our children will do what we do, not always what we say. Don’t compare them, don’t degrade them, don’t hurt them, don’t make them feel insecure. Protect their innocence as long as you can and raise strong, compassionate, and loving humans!