Should I compare my child with others?

July 31, 2019
Category: Perspectives

While at first this might seem to be another contentious subject, it shouldn’t be. Comparing your child with others is full of pitfalls. At first blush, it might seem like the obvious thing to do since we as adults do it daily. Whether it’s deliberate, like when we consider the professional successes and failures of our peers, or subconscious, like when we browse through Instagram and Facebook feeds, we’re constantly comparing ourselves with others.

But kids are different, and each child’s unique developmental process needs to be nurtured, not restricted.

With kids, as with adults, comparisons can often lead to jealousy and self-doubt. These emotions can have a negative effect on both academic performance and social development. In school and on standardized tests, for example, confidence is crucial. Jealousy often breeds resentment, so kids can often get stuck on more negative pathways, like trying to outperform others for Instagram likes and Snapchat streaks, rather than on more constructive pathways, like embracing new ideas and learning from others.

We often try to motivate kids by enshrining someone else’s success and setting that outcome as an expectation. Rather than making a comparison about outcomes, maybe we should use outcomes as case studies. We could discuss with our kids the factors that contributed to someone’s success, and how those factors can be emulated. We shouldn’t be afraid to analyze failure, too – learning from someone else’s mistakes is better than making them ourselves! We should set our own targets and most importantly, be consistent with our praise and criticism. We should set consistent expectations around both how things should get done and what those outcomes should be.

This method of understanding, teaching, and emulating successful behaviors are what we specialize in here at The Tutorverse. Over the years, we’ve come to understand what works and what doesn’t. When it comes to academic benchmarking, we’ve helped families understand what they need to do, and empowered them to do so. If you ever need a shoulder to lean on, just let us know!