When parents compare their child with other children, they don’t realise what harm they are causing to his/her psyche. ‘Nisha, try to become a little outgoing.  See Shilpa is so smart’ or ‘if Amit can score so well, I am sure you can too.’ Such words of parents in order to ‘improve’ their child not only shake a child’s confidence but their whole personality.

Don’t assess your children in their presence

Hold discussion about your child’s strengths and weaknesses in private. Names of other children may crop up during such conversations which can make your child feel insecure about themselves.

Your child is unique

It’s not just important to avoid comparing your children when they are around but you also need to stop doing it in your mind. Don’t expect your children to excel in every field or similar areas like the children of your friends or relatives. They may possess latent talent which you can help them realise and develop with your encouragement.

Your child’s achievements are not your status symbol

Don’t look for moments of glory in your child’s feats. If your child is not doing too well academically, or is not bringing trophies to flaunt, don’t feel guilty in front of friends and relatives.

Guide your child, spare comparisons

Discuss with your children about their areas of weaknesses, and help them to establish yardsticks according to their capabilities and not according to the achievements of friends.

Your opinions mean the most to your child

As parents, you can make or break your child’s confidence. Your attitude to measure their performance against that of other children would make them believe that they are not as good as them. This would destroy their confidence and trust in themself. So go ahead and give your child a pat on the back saying, ‘I am proud of you.’

This article appeared in Hindustan Times

Sudha Gupta

Mrs. Sudha Gupta, Chairperson of Mother's Pride Pre-School and Presidium Senior Secondary School, is a sought-after expert on parenting.

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