An attitude that hurts children
Yes, it’s only natural to make comparisons between the eldest child and their siblings! Yet, every child is unique and develops at their own pace, with their own emotions, abilities and personality. Some children feel devalued, rejected or unloved by their parents because they are compared to their older sibling, which creates rivalry and jealousy.
Any comparison with siblings or cousins, whether negative or positive, is received badly by your child. It’s better to think of them as an only child. Often among friends or during family meals, the topics of conversation revolve around children and their performance at school. Be careful what you say because your dear little ones have wagging ears and could be hurt by your words.
➜ Work on yourself in order to ease everyone’s anxiety and restore the balance in your home.
4 tips for not comparing your child
1) Identify their qualities and successes
Take the time to sit down, watch your child and take stock of their qualities, what they do well, areas in which they excel. What are their human and physical qualities? Don’t compare them to their siblings, it’s already difficult for some children to accept their place in the sibling group. And each one of them develops at their own pace with talents in certain areas. Remember how you were at their age! Yes, in the end, they do have some assets.
2) Congratulate and encourage
We sometimes forget but telling your child you’re proud of them, that what they’re doing is good, and giving them a hug makes everyone feel good. With a look or a kind word, your child knows they are loved. In a big family, we sometimes forget to devote time to each one of them and the youngest child is sometimes remanded rather than encouraged or rewarded. When progress is made, whether it’s in maths, French or simply in sport, congratulations are in order!
3) Be fair
It’s so difficult over the years to raise your children in the same way! Work, shopping, taking one or the other to their different activities… all while running the house. It’s hard to do it all right! Let’s face it, it’s true for many parents, we’re not always fair. So now you’ve realized this, try to put things right. Treating everyone fairly will avoid any jealousy between siblings.
4) Show affection to everyone
Admittedly, this isn’t easy on a daily basis! We all do the best we can for our family and especially for our children. The signs of affection can be different and varied: a look, a smile, a hug, telling a friend or relative that we’re proud of our child, that they’re doing well at school… and they’re diamonds in your eyes!
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The golden rules to follow
If it’s still difficult for you to put things right by taking a fairer attitude, keep these golden rules in mind:
- Respect each child’s uniqueness
- Say what you like about them
- Explain to your child how you feel about them
- Explain each punishment in a constructive way
- Stay focused on the conversation you’re having with your child
- Let them speak and listen to them
- Put their feelings into words if they’re unable to do so
- Help them to understand their lessons and do their homework with them if they need it
Editor’s note – Traumas come from childhood
You really must pay attention to your attitude towards your children. Traumas or dysfunctional behaviors often take place during childhood. The result is an adult who lacks self-confidence and is always trying to compare themselves to others. The love and reassurance provided during childhood is a solid foundation for building a successful person. However, everyone has their flaws. If you feel you need to work on your behavior towards your children, it’s important to talk to a professional about it. In order to think about everyone’s well-being, you must also think about your own by solving your difficulties to make better progress.
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