Parents need to stop comparing their kids

A group of children at Toa Payoh central on Oct 2, 2018.
A group of children at Toa Payoh central on Oct 2, 2018.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

It is common for many parents to - out of good intentions to get their children to improve - compare them with other children.

The idea is to motivate the child to do better or strive harder through instigating competition.

But when parents compare their children with others, it may undermine the child's potential and ability, resulting in the child feeling more stressed.

Furthermore, the child loses confidence, causing him to lose motivation and his performance to deteriorate.

The child may also feel that he will never be able to live up to his parents' expectations or be as outstanding as others, and this may further impede academic and holistic growth.

Worse still, when parents compare a child to his own sibling, this breeds jealousy and could eventually lead to sibling rivalry.

Parents may want to consider identifying areas that need improvement and work together with the child to overcome this problem. This kind of learning will be much more effective in the development of the child.

Austin Sim Kairen, 15,

Secondary 4 student

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 03, 2019, with the headline 'Parents need to stop comparing their kids'. Print Edition | Subscribe