Dr. Seth Meyers, Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Seth Meyers, Clinical Psychologist

Saturday, September 22, 2012

PARENTING TOPIC - Parenting: Never Compare Your Child to Another Child

Among the many frustrating moments of parenthood, you've probably had your fair share of moments where you've almost full-blown lost it. Raising kids is probably the most challenging and taxing job there is, so don't ever feel like you're crazy because you occasionally get pushed to the brink. The key is to know how to manage these feelings when you feel truly overwhelmed.

One of the most tempting traps you can fall into when your child isn't doing what you want him or her to do is to compare your child to another child. Perhaps you're inclined to compare your child to another one of your children, or it could be to one of their cousins or another child at school. Examples: Why can't you just listen like like your brother? Your friend gets such good grades in school, so why can't you?

Please, please: Never, ever compare your child to anyone else. Comapring your child to another child is one of the most effective ways to shame them, and plant the seed in their head that they are somehow deficient or not good enough. Trust me: I spend hours each week with adults who were shamed - one way or another - as children, and it takes years to undo that kind of damage.

The next time you feel overwhelmed when your child isn't doing what you want him or her to do, immediately remove yourself from the situation, take three deep breaths, and engage in a different activity for five minutes that helps you unwind (e.g., take a walk around the block, call a friend, or step outside and stare at the sky). Whatever you do, don't compare your child to anyone else - or really, really try not to!

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