5 Reasons Why You Need to Stop Comparing Your Kids to Others Kids

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I saw a very disturbing Pinterest description the other day that really made me stop in my track. The picture was of a cute little girl with a very stylish haircut. The description read, “50 cute haircuts for little girls to put you on center stage.”

After reading that I thought, “Are we really putting this undue pressure on our kids to make us look good?” Are we breeding an unhappy life in our children from the beginning because we compare them to others and judge by what they have and don’t have? I’m getting ahead of myself here so I’m gonna share a quick story that will segue into why we shouldn’t play the comparison game.

I also want to mention that I am in no way the perfect mom never comparing my kids to others but I do try to make a conscious effort not to and try to remind myself not to when others are speaking about their kids accomplishments or negative behaviors.

5 reasons why you need to stop comparing your kids

I was at Target the other day (funny how most things happen there) and I was in the toddler clothing section with another mom. I was perusing the discount section when I heard her child begin to cry. I thought nothing of it because that’s what kids do so I continued my shopping.

I don’t know what the mom was saying to her daughter because I was trying not to pay attention. But after one more correction, her daughter cries even louder as the mom proceeds to put her in the shopping cart. Then what I hear breaks my heart. The mom says to her toddler who is acting out, “Do you see anyone else acting like this?”. I thought to myself, “Honey, you caught on a good day because mine are usually the ones doing the crying.”

I wanted to go to the mom and say, “Don’t worry about it. Every kids does this.” but then I thought that would embarrass her more so I pretended not to hear her crying child. But I was saddened that she was comparing her crying child to mine.

Many times I’m not sure what to do when that happens because I want to be helpful and extend mercy. But what I don’t want to do is draw unnecessary attention to them either. In my head I have said what that mom said many times. “Why can’t my kid act like theirs?” Why do those kids get (insert whatever I’m coveting) and mine don’t.” “Why don’t my kids listen like theirs?”.

Here’s why we need to stop comparing…

1) It puts our kids on pedestals

When we compare our kids to someone else’s, our minds usually goes one of two ways. When we think, “Why can’t our kids be like them?” it shows that we have an expectation of what our child should be and it is not being met. This puts a harmful burden on our child that they are not good enough. They will begin to think that they can never do right by you. And, in doing this, you put someone else’s child on a pedestal.

Or we swing the other way and put our child on the pedestal. Thinking our child is better than everyone else’s setting them up for failure because they can “do no wrong”. This also puts a great deal of pressure on your child and they will become humiliated when they fail to meet with your approval. I feel this also encourages our children to be puffed up and that no one can do anything better than your child.

2) It creates an entitlement attitude

Our mentality is that we should always have the latest and greatest things. And when others have those things, we need them too. My child is just as good or better than yours (again comparing) therefore they need whatever that is to make your child great in the eyes of others. If their child has one, my child needs one too. (Whether or not you can afford one.)

The trouble with this mind-set is is that someone is always going to have something you want. Someone is always going to have a bigger house, more money, better clothes, better car or a “better life.” And if we are coveting and comparing ourselves to others you can bet that our kids will learn to do that as well.

Entitlement comes from a prideful attitude. Just like Eve in the Garden. She thought she should be entitled to know everything that God knows. Satan lies to us and tells us that if other children have it then so should then mine should too.

3) It teaches them to be ungrateful

It’s not enough to teach a child to parrot the word ‘thank you’ when they are given something. We need to really encourage gratefulness in our children.

We will never teach our kids to be thankful and grateful for what they have if we are always trying to keep up with what the world tells us we need. Are we purposefully thankful in front of our kids to help them learn to be thankful? Or do we nitpick and complain that we don’t have the newest iPhone or the lastest fashion?

If we do not make a conscious effort to be thankful in front of our kids, they will learn that they will always need something new and fantastic to make them happy. Madame Blueberry, anyone?

4) It fosters discontent among theirs peers

Children at a young age become aware that others have things that they don’t have. I remember being envious when I saw friends or relatives opening presents that I wish I had.

I am beginning to have the mind-set not to open gifts in front of other children because I don’t want to teach them to be envious of my child. Or to teach mine to be envious of other children.

How do you teach a 3-year-old to be happy with what some else has that they don’t? I admit I am not always quick to be happy when someone gets something that I have always wanted. I received many wonderful gifts from my family when I was younger so I wasn’t lacking in gifts but maybe those ideas of discontent stem from comparing my gifts to those around me?

5) It teaches them that their self-worth comes from others and things

When we teach our children to compare what they have with others it begins to shape their thinking that their self-worth comes from what they own and how they look. I do think it is important to look nice and presentable but we need to look at why our kids should be presentable.

Do we want them to have the best because we want people to admire us and how our kids look? Or should they be dressed decently in clean clothes because we are a reflection of Jesus Christ?

Look, I’m not down on moms who want to dress their kids in cute clothes. More power to ya. But when I see that your child HAS to have name brand clothes I feel like their attire is more about you then them simply being dressed.

And then when you get frustrated with them because they spilled food on the clothe you spent x amount of money on, you are telling them that their clothes are more important then their feelings getting hurt.

So what it really boils down to is this…

Are we trying to help them be more like Christ today than they were yesterday?

That’s the only comparison we should making of our children because He’s the only one worth emulating.

I am on this journey of Motherhood like all moms. I, again, am not perfect in this but who wants to join me in a pact of teaching humility and gratefulness to our children?

Think I am crazy or are you crazy with me? Let me know in the comments below!

 

3 Secrets to a More Confident Life!

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I wanted to bare my soul a little in this post and share some insecurities that I struggle with and some things I have learned to help me overcome them. These things I have learned through experience and from others along the way. I am not fishing for compliments to stroke my ego. I am writing this in the hopes that it can help someone conquer their insecurities.

I am a super sensitive person. I pick up on vibes from people very easily which is a good and bad thing. The good side is that it helps me be more sensitive to people’s needs and to be compassionate when someone is hurting or struggling. The bad side is that if I pick up on a negative or unfriendly vibe it can bring up all kinds of insecurities in me.

What did they mean by that? Why did they say it like that? Why did they interrupt me when I was speaking? Do they really want to hear what I have to say?

I feel that moms can be super critical of others and themselves. We judge one another’s diaper choice, choice of stroller, choice of lotion, to bottle or breastfeed, to go to public school or to home school, organic vs. non-organic. The list goes on. We forget that these are preferences and not the absolute, only way to rear a child. On top of that we judge ourselves for not looking like a victoria secret model a month after having a baby. Momma, let’s get real for a moment while I divulge the inner workings of my mommy brain.

The other day I was at Target in the checkout line and my older son asks for some tic tacs. I tell him that we have cookies that he made with my mom at home so it’s no to the tic tacs. I was totally unprepared for the crying that ensued. He screamed at the top of his lungs that he needed those. I stood wide-eyed and shocked that he was acting this way in public. How did I react?

Did I…

A: Yell at him to stop yelling.

B: Look around to see if others were seeing if I was trying to kill him.

C: Become embarrassed at the thought of others judging my parenting.

D: Give him what he wanted to make him stop screaming.

E: None of the above.

If you answered E, you are correct.

I remembered what I had heard from many other parents that your child is not trying to embarrass you (at least at this age) they are merely expressing some very strong feelings. Appropriate for the situation or not, expressing strong feelings none the less.

I took a deep breath, walked over to the shopping cart, gave him a hug and said, “I’m sorry that you are sad that you can’t have the tics tacs but the answer is still no.” Then I went back to putting my items on the belt to check out. He didn’t stop crying until after I was finished but I think I could have made things a lot worse had I become angry with him.

I would like to say that I handle every single situation like that but that wouldn’t be honest. It is easy to get frustrated on only a few hours sleep. And then trying to meet the daily demands that we put on ourselves is exhausting. But these next steps help foster the kind of parenting that will be gentle but firm.

#1 Remember Whose You Are.

sky-1084433_640 confidence, confident

When you remember that you are a child of God you don’t have to look around to see what others are doing. You don’t need to measure yourself against anyone’s else standards because they don’t matter. You won’t need to look around for others approval.

It reminds me of a great children’s book by Max Lucado called “You are Special” about a wooden wemmick named Punchinello. He lives in a town with other wemmicks and they judge each other by giving gold stars or gray dots. Awesome, beautiful, amazing wemmicks get gold stars and lame, mediocre and awful wemmicks get gray dots. Punchinello, no matter how hard he tries, only gets gray dots and feels bad about himself for having them.

He meets a wemmick named Lucia and she doesn’t have any dots or stars! She tells him that the secret lies with the Woodcarver Himself. So Punchinello decides to visit the Woodcarver, Eli. When Punchinello come to His workshop the Woodcarver notices that he has many dots. Punchinello tries to justify himself but the Eli says,

“I don’t care what the other wemmicks think. All that matters is what I think, and I think you are pretty special. The gray dots only stick if you let them.”

At the end of their conversation, Eli tells Punchinello to come and visit Him every day. As Punchinello is leaving Eli says “Remember, you are special because I made you and I don’t make mistakes.” Punchinello says to himself “I think He really means it.” And a gray dot  falls to the floor.

I have to remind myself quite often that people’s negative thoughts, words, actions only stick if I let them. My Heavenly Father doesn’t think that way about me. David wrote Psalm 139:17 saying “How precious also are Your thoughts towards me, O God! How great is the sum of them!”

#2 It’s Not About You

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When we remember that other people’s problems are not about us it is much easier to let them go. I was trying to park at an event the other day and went the wrong way. One of the workers acted like any smart person would have known better when they were telling me that I went the wrong way. At first I was embarrassed by my mistake but then quickly thought to myself “I can’t let someone else’s rude behavior ruin the rest of the event for me.” So I gave it to God and let it go.

Many times we pick up the negative baggage that others give us because we think how could they treat me like that?  We are not meant to carry that around. From the book of 1 Peter 5:7, Peter says that we should give all of our cares (including negativity from others) to God because he cares for us.

The next time someone is rude or harsh towards you remember that it is coming from a place of insecurity or hurt. One of my favorite quotes, and I am not sure who said it, is

“Hurt people, hurt people.”

Again it goes back to step #1. We are children of God and shouldn’t let others dictate our feelings or how we act in any given situation.

#3 Pray For Them

beach-1868772_640 prayer, praying

This might be the hardest thing for me to remember to do. I want to be upset because I have a right to be, don’t I? But when I look at the life of Christ I can see he has a different way of handling things. He prayed while on the cross, “Father, Forgive them. For they do not know what they do.” Luke 23:34. If Jesus could pray for those who had crucified him and forgive them, then I could certainly pray for the person that just cut me off in traffic, talked behind my back or for rude comments made to my face.

The bible also says to bless those who curse you and pray for those who spitefully use you, Luke 6:28. I’ll admit that the first thing that comes to my mind is not praying for someone who has just been rude or hurt me but I want Christ to be so much in my thoughts that I begin to start thinking that way. Which means that I won’t end up thinking about how they hurt me and again focusing on myself. Instead, I will be looking at the real issue. That the one trying to hurt me, knowingly or unknowingly, is the one who needs my prayers most.

What are some things that you do to help you be a more confident mom? I’d love to hear from you!

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