I always believed in the advice to not compare your child to any other child including and especially to their siblings..It seemed like logical/practical advice and therefore simple enough to follow. But as I continue to grow and walk on this journey of motherhood I find that there are so many things that are easier said than done. Also, you may have every good intention to do things in a particular way , which includes a goal to never be that type of parent, but you can’t say what you will do for sure until you are actually in that position.
Sometimes it is hard to sit in a room full of kids who are on the honor roll and your child is failing, hard to be around toddlers who are talking, singing, and have good social skills and your toddler says three words and appears to be introverted, it can hurt to be around other children who are affectionate and loving and your child is distant and can barely give you a hug or to be around a child who has a great appetite and eats their fruits and veggies and your kid cries hysterically or complains at mealtime. Whether or not some of you want to admit it, this is a real issue that we all will experience! If you have NEVER EVER compared someone else’s child to your own or vice versa, trust me your time to do so will come and it’s okay and VERY normal. However, it is not okay to constantly do so and say it aloud to your child. By you doing so, they won’t be secure of your belief in them which will create a poor sense of self as they will not believe in themselves because they will feel like whatever they do will not match up to those that you compare them to, but most of all you are sending a clear message that they are “not good enough”. This can lead your child into a host of various problems to tackle right into their adulthood including depression, anxiety, shame, emotional instability and even anger management issues. Their shame will turn into anger towards you and that anger will spread to everyone who comes into their life thereafter.
I say all this to say that if you should find yourself having a desire to compare another person’s child to your own, essentially you want what they have. So instead of being jealous, bitter, frustrated or angry, why not ask them how their child reached certain milestones, gained a healthy appetite, stayed on the honor roll every year since 1st grade, etc. Keep in mind that no child is the same , so what may work for that child may not work for yours. But it’s worth a try to do something different because obviously what your child is doing isn’t working and it can drive you to that place of driving yourself crazy LITERALLY, because insanity is defined as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
In addition, talk to your pediatrician just to double-check that your child does not need supplemental resources, vitamins, counseling, etc. In conclusion, choose to be open-minded, choose to acknowledge that asking for help or advice doesn’t make you any less of a parent, but remember in the midst of all of that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. There may even be something you have/your child has that they wish they had. You just never know, so be thankful for WHAT YOU DO HAVE…