As the first child i realised early enough that much was expected of me. My dad wanted me to excel exceptionally well in my academics. Maintaining the third position in class wasn’t good enough, he would constantly say “whats the name of that girl again? the girl who takes the first position? imagine! she is a girl like you”.
Mine was better; for my kid sis it was much more depressing.He complains about her writing, it was nothing to write home about. He says she is so slow in her academics because she eats a lot.
Whenever my cousin comes around he makes my sister and cousin undergo a spelling quiz. As usual, my sister performs poorly and then the regular scolding continues.
For me i taught, Omolola the girl that takes the first position in class I should be like her, act like her, possibly i would perform like her academically. I borrowed her notes and started tracing her handwriting I wanted to write just like her, I love drawing i noticed she doesn’t draw at all i stopped drawing. During lunch break, she is by herself, calm, only goes out to check on her siblings and back to the class i did the same. It was difficult because that wasn’t me. During exams she finishes before everyone else, I had to struggle between finishing too before everyone else and answering the answers correctly, it was frustrating. At the end of the term i performed worse than the previous terms. My sister on the other hand didn’t bother to please him anymore she was tired. Comparing her to my cousin lowered her self esteem, She just stopped attempting.
Sometimes the sole motivation of comparing your child to others is to instigate competition so that this feeling can push the child to perform better. Competitiveness definitely is a driving force towards performance but is this working for your child?
No two children are the same, they have different talents, interests, they develop at different rate and have different strength. Comparing them to others and constantly reminding them of how much better others are would do nothing but lay the foundation of inferiority complex, some of them don’t bother pleasing you anymore, while some react by loosing the approval of their parents that they give up their own identity to become what their parents wants them to be and end up depressed. They should be taught to better themselves each day and not to be better than others. Instead of comparing why don’t you set benchmark not unrealistic expectations, encourage them to practice more, appreciate their effort in public, praise his strength.
These words could help:
- I appreciate it so much when you………………………………
- You are starting to improve at…………………………………..
- Wow! i’m proud of you, i’m certain you can do even better……………………
- Your efforts are paying off……………………………………….
But don’t overdo it, corrections is still necessary as well.
Comparison between siblings
Bringing it to the inner circle, the family, siblings develop not only in relation to how their parents treat them. Within the family each child wants to be loved the most. Children with siblings can begin to believe that they have to be the best to be loved the most, they don’t think they have to be the best in the world necessarily but the best among the current contenders, the other kids in the house.
Listen,there are enough competitiveness out in the world, in the classroom, the playground, the sports field without having to compare with each other at home. The family is supposed to be the place where you are loved for you, not for your accomplishments or abilities. As parents, let them feel that.
Enjoy the variety in your family.