Comparison in childrenOct
“My son knows Li Bai’s poems since he was three.” “Why don’t you let your daughter join playgroups. It’s necessary.” What will you feel when you listen to the above sayings? Would you be anxious or would you just keep your own decision to your children firml ...
“My son knows Li Bai’s poems since he was three.” “Why don’t you let your daughter join playgroups. It’s necessary.” What will you feel when you listen to the above sayings? Would you be anxious or would you just keep your own decision to your children firmly?
Every September is the beginning of school days. Heavy workload makes students exhausted while continuous messages from WhatsApp group makes parents suffocated. The rise of parents’ WhatsApp group brings numerous benefits and convenience but every coin has two sides. Parents may trap in the unnecessary comparison.
Leon Festinger, an American social psychologist published the Social Comparison Theory in 1954 as well as pointed out that people tend to evaluate themselves by comparing to others. The process includes two types of social comparison: upward and downward. The former is to compare oneself to one who has better talent and hence may feel nervous or even jealous while the latter is to compare oneself to the worse one so that they may get sense of achievement. A parent continually resorts to upward social comparison and when they recognise their child is not as talented as others, they may feel anxious.
What is the reason of parents comparing their kids with others? Actually, it’s a normal reaction led by Social Comparison. When a person notices that he is inferior than others in his conscious aspects, he will feel insecure and abased. And it is because people’s Self Concept is attributed to one self’s concerned factor. The birth rate in Hong Kong is declining in recent years and most of the parents have their only child. Thus, parents put their greatest effort and resources on their children. Those parent’s Self Concept is built on their children’s achievement because the academic performance of their children indicates that are they good parents or not.
The rise of parents’ WhatsApp group provides an opinion-exchange platform but also comparing targets. Interestingly, when people have more similar characteristics, they will have more comparing motivation. For example, when two full-time Mum is taking care of their 6-year-old son and they are in the same school with similar financial background, these series of similarities trigger more comparison. To reduce their anxiety, they will do their utmost to enhance children’s competitiveness by putting more on their education.
To avoid this kind of comparison trap, parents should understand everyone, including kids has their strengths and weaknesses. All they have to do is to embrace children’s characteristics, and choose the suitable teaching methods according to their talent and interests. Instead of focusing on different children’s accomplishment, parents should rather pay attention on their child and make sure that they won’t lost their uniqueness in comparison.