Have you ever watched young children at play? They are completely uninhibited. They laugh, dance, sing, and cry without regard to what other people think. Two babies enjoy each other without noticing the differences between them – they are pure love, light, and energy!
However, as children get older, they start to notice that not all children are alike. Children look different, act different, talk different, and play different. For some children, this realization is just an awareness without much impact. But for other children, differences become a foundation for comparison and judgment which can have damaging consequences.
For kids, comparison can bring a constant state of judgment – continually assessing whether they are “better than” or “less than” whomever they are comparing themselves to: good, bad, right, wrong, better, worse….
Judgment with a feeling of “better than” creates arrogance and entitlement and can lead to conceitedness, bullying, and discrimination.
Judgment with a feeling of “less than” erodes self-esteem. It can lead to self-criticism and self-doubt as children see everyone else as “better than” they are. Sometimes children spend so much time in admiration of other children’s gifts and talents that they fail to see their own gifts and talents.
As parents, we have a golden opportunity to talk with our kids about the dangers of comparison and to help them honor their own uniqueness, gifts and talents.
In the next article we’ll talk about the importance of being yourself! Have you ever seen your children compare themselves to others? Please comment below.
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Adventure well my friend!
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