When Is Comparing Your Child To Others A Good Thing To Do?
Posted: August 29, 2019
There exists within life a never-ending siege of thousands of daily messages we receive continuing compare us to an ideal. I have heard upwards of 7,000 messages a day fight each other in an effort to rise above the noise created to steal you or your child’s attention. As adult, we know the feeling of the pull that exists when it’s cold and snowy outside and we see the advertisement for a tropical vacation. Well much like this, children get a constant bombardment of things they don’t have that would be super cool and make them feel great if only they could get them. Compound this with the feeling of not having what their friends have and the potential beginning of your child feeling second rate starts to sprout.
If you have read my blogs or newsletters for any period of time you will know, that for a variety of reasons, comparison to others is something that I have found to be far more discouraging than encouraging. There is however a time that I do feel it can be used in a positive way to provide perspective and when you lock onto this you will find you have a never ending supply of tools at your disposal you can use as very powerful teaching tools. They are best used when you do it frequently and proactively.
As the messages come in and around us, start to create conversations around the children in the news and headlines that are having serious third world challenges in our first world communities. Sadly, there is no need to go out of the country to find impactful challenge that will cause pause. In my experience the closer geographically the more real it will feel. The strategy is best used at random times and has to be revisited frequently. If the only time you bring up the subject of less fortunate children is when your child is asking for something, it will not work and in fact be felt as manipulation instead of truth.
As parents, we are in a battle for who gets to shape and influence our children’s psychology, pop culture, the news media, their friends or us. If we do our work well, as they walk through life they will become automatic filters to all of the noise and nonsense wrapped in eye-catching pictures, videos and messaging. It’s a battle worth winning so play your part to work daily to bring an appropriate dose of real-world into their purview to help balance the privileges they already have access to.