The Comparison Trap: Never compare your child with others
I often have trouble sleeping at night, and part of the trouble is that I can’t turn my mind off. Sure wish there was a switch. Have you ever felt the same? It seems like it’s on at night, but off during the day! I have had many of those nights. Often while lying there awake, my mind just keeps going and going. Then, I fall into the comparison trap!
What happens when you compare your child to others?
COMPARISON —–> GUILT —–> DISCOURAGEMENT
Immediately this verse that I often share came to my mind:
“For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.” II Corinthians 10:12
God tells us here that is NOT wise to compare ourselves to each other. I would guess that is because He knows that it will take us on a downward spiral that ends in guilt and discouragement.
Also, He doesn’t want us to live our lives trying to do what others are doing, but rather seeking what He is telling us to do. So when you read something on social media or one of those great blog posts that starts you on a guilt trip stop!
How do you stop a comparison trap?
Rather than letting yourself fall into the comparison trap, ask yourself:
1. What you can learn from the post.
2. What actions do you need to take after reading it.
3. What is one thing you can start working on. (rather than trying to start a lot of huge changes)
Let me give you an example of what I mean, to make this practical. I wrote a post called 7 Responses That Make Your Kids Stop Talking To You
Perhaps as you read that post you realized that you were indeed guilty of some of those wrong responses. It would be very easy to compare and think to yourself that you are a bad mom because of the way you respond to your kids. It’s easy to think that your friend(s) or the author or the post doesn’t struggle with this. We can begin to compare our children and assume that they would never say some of the things to their kids that you have said to yours. The truth is, we all struggle with many of the same things, but for some reason, we always look at others and think they would never have some of the same struggles we have!
If you allow yourself to continue on with the thought process, you will end up even more discouraged, and perhaps even think that you’ll never be “as good of a mother” as they are, etc.
How do you avoid comparison?
Instead, take the ideas I listed above. After reading the post, ask what you learned. (I have been responding wrong to my kids at times.) As you think and pray about it, you might decide you should take the following actions.
- First, ask God to forgive you, and thank Him for bringing it to your attention.
- Second, go and apologize to that child, and let them know you realize some of your responses have been wrong, and that you are going to try to do better.
- Then choose the ONE that you are most guilty of, and start working on changing that one first.
Never compare your child with others
There are many wonderful blogs and social media posts out there to encourage us, and help us in our parenting, homeschooling, marriage, walk with the Lord. May I just remind you to read them with an awareness that they can lead to comparison and guilt, and to choose to learn and be encouraged from them instead!