Comparing children is detrimental to growth

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Children should develop and unfold freely, which is what most parents want. The comparison is not good – why exactly?

If you listen to mothers’ conversations on the playground, the same topics are often exchanged about sons. And then, subconsciously or directly, advice is given to each other and comparisons are made between the children: “How long has your child been able to sit?” – “When did you start crawling?” – “He can already count to ten? Our son can’t do that yet!” – “How lucky you are that he can get dressed independently, and this does not work at all with our child!” – “Your little one is very friendly and polite, our son is resting very quickly And don’t listen to us at all.” These and other conversations will sound familiar to most parents.

In fact, most people know that making comparisons between children is not good for either the parents themselves or the children – aside from being frustrating in most cases. Renowned family and educational consultant Jean-Uwe Rouge explains the background to comparing parents and children and why it is important not to do so.

Parenting Mistakes: Bashing Parents and Focusing on the Helplessness of Children

While children just want to have fun on the playground, some parents tend to compare their offspring to the offspring of other parents. (Iconic image) © Winfried Rothermel / Imago

The pressure that parents put on themselves has increased dramatically in the last twenty to thirty years: raise their children better, encourage them more, apply the necessary rigor to their upbringing, praise children more, look for offspring for the better, always pay attention to development, eat as healthy as possible. Preferably vegetarian.

What then puts mothers and fathers under extra pressure is “parental bashing”, unlike Jean-Uy Rouge Rundshaw Online explained. “Parents are scrutinized, reprimanded and constantly told what to do. This is also one of the reasons why they always compare things and focus on what does not work for them,” continues Rogge.

It is not uncommon for them to apply this comparative position to their children – even if they are fundamentally opposed to and also condemning it when comparing themselves to other parents. “The problem is that many parents see only the shortcomings in their children and in themselves. Then you ask yourself: Why can the other child do it but I can’t do it? What am I doing wrong? Why is it not working well for me?” The educational consultant explains .

It turns out that so-called helicopter parents with this attitude raise less self-confident children and more children with behavioral disorders. The so-called submarine parents also clearly harm their offspring. In many respects, it would not be wrong to learn something from the Danes, who, according to a survey, raise the best children in the world.

Parenting Mistakes: Don’t Compare Children – Parents Harm Growth

On the other hand, author Jean Uwe Rouge bases his work on the well-known teacher Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi and his 100-year-old thesis: Never compare one child to another – always only yourself. “Here the comparison gets a different comparison, so to speak the quality: one has to see the child in his development. So parents should not ask themselves what their children cannot do, but what they cannot do yet. I think it is important to see the child as a person evolve”, emphasizes Roge Rundshaw Online.

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Parenting mistakes: Comparing children destroys self-esteem

So it is important that you always see your child as an individual and treat him as such. If parents communicate directly to him that other children are “better,” this can have a devastating effect on the child’s self-esteem and self-confidence and harm healthy development.

Instead, the following applies: Trust that the child will go his or her own way and offer incentives and ideas for it – but in your child’s best interest and not exclusively for other children’s development. If parents put less pressure on themselves when it comes to raising children, it will ultimately have a positive effect on child satisfaction.

This article contains only general information on the relevant health topic and is therefore not intended for self-diagnosis, treatment or medication. It does not in any way replace a visit to the doctor. Unfortunately, our editors are not allowed to answer individual questions about clinical images.

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