“Sharma ke bete ko 90% aye! And you…” A common comparative assessment measure used by Indian parents to reflect their own child’s performance. Not only are they reducing their child’s self-esteem from a 100 to 0, but they are instigating a very unhealthy competition. The other worst possible thing you could do to your child is compare them to their own siblings.
It is no secret that only a few do it. As a matter of fact, everybody does it, but hates to admit it. You don’t realize that you’re actually destroying your child’s self-confidence, self-image and his/her state of mind by doing so. Just because your image in the society shouldn’t be brought down, you pass rude comments like, “ Stop loitering in the neighborhood and join some tuitions! Look at your older brother’s achievements…!!” and blah blah blah. There’s so much you say to your child without even thinking twice.
Have you ever imagined the consequences of comparing your child to his/her siblings. The following are the reasons why you shouldn’t-
1. Petrified of social situations
Comparing children to others can make them feel like they’re not good enough. As a result, the next time you have guests over and you ask your child to show off his/her best skills, there is a high possibility that s/he will feel shy and display social anxiety. Since you have been scolding, taunting and mocking him/her in front of everybody, your child will become avoidant when it comes to public or social interactions , especially if it is around you.
2. “Why don’t you be more like..” Should be torn off your vocabulary
This dialogue should never be uttered to your child no matter how tempted you may be to say it. While talking to your child, you need to watch your words. Even if you’re fuming with rage and dealing with the child is rather difficult, make sure you never say such a terrible thing to him/her ever.
3. Lowered self-esteem
When you subject your child to mean taunts every time, s/he automatically starts believing that other kids are better than him/her. You also make him/her feel incompetent and ruin the future for him/her.
4. Sour relationship with siblings
The moment you compare siblings, prepare yourself to face the wrath of your child’s bitter relationship with his/her siblings. It is not a temporary phase that s/he’ll forget with time. Usually, these issues prolong for years together, even after the kids are all grown up. The younger one might end up being a vengeful person and might take extreme steps to be #1 for you.
5. Distancing self from you
You cannot blame your child for straying from you. It was all your fault because you have compared him/her to other kids and his/her own siblings. S/he becomes aware that you’re unhappy with anything s/he does and that it causes you trouble. Since s/he analyses the source of negative vibes (that is, you), s/he thinks that it would be the best if s/he moves away. This way, your kid loses trust in you and perceives you as a threat to him/her.