For example here is the complaint of a mother of two children:
“Comparison starts as early as one month;
- He was active, but this child is so weak…
- He walked so early, but this child is still not trying…
- He started to speak so early, but this child still cannot babble…
and then later on:
- He was more loving and attached, but this child never stays with us….
- On every [so called] milestone people are crazy comparing siblings….
- and all this becomes a reality, a self fulfilled prophecy after a while….
- I also feel sometimes how to make people realize this insanity and zulm around us…
- but how can we become vocal because then we will be labelled….”
- Each child is different. Some much more than others. Some even extremely!!!
- Technique that worked with one may not work with other or even worse may work in the opposite direction with other.
- Each child needs to carve out his own distinctive niche. Give him space to make mistakes. Let him try many things and “fail” many times.
- Every child has to fall down many times himself before he learns to walk. Those who do not fall can not walk! As parents, you need to just try to ensure that he does not fall down where there are sharp objects or slippery surfaces. This is not only true for mastering the skill to walk, but metaphorically for all other early childhood skills such as speaking, writing, and playing, but also later skills such as interpersonal, dialectics, analytical n other skills.
- Have trust in child’s potential for individual greatness.
- Giving guidance (hidayah) is creator’s (Allah’s) responsibility. A parent’s responsibility is to be a role model and provide an enabling environment and pray for the best.
- Don’t be tense and work yourself up at your child’s expense. Have trust in your child and be patient. Give him time to bloom. He may be a seed that is not a four month crop but be a banyan tree that takes a long time to grow but would stand for hundreds of years! Parents’ excessive worry and impatience creates more harm than good.
- Overcoming the temptation of comparing with sibling is the biggest parental challenge.
- Having trust in your child is a matter of belief. You must not lose heart even when all observations are pointing in the wrong direction. This is the matter of belief in the infinite wisdom of the creator.
Once there was an eldest son who was called paternal grandmother’s (Dadi’s) son or father’s son. The second one used to be called mother’s son. Eldest was a position holder and always used to be first class first. There was always comparison with the second one who was just average. Dadi’s son vs mother’s son. Continuous comparison between the two became a battle ground of spouse rivalry. Then Dadi died and some years later father also died. Now the power and property devolved to mother and hence to second son. The eldest ran from pillar to post but to no avail. He developed brain complications and suddenly died while still young.
There are major psychological reasons why we compare a child with other children and do this zulm:
- Subconscious vicious revenge of finding my child (or me) weaker in some respect with the other child and sniping at the other child (or his mother) by pointing out the other’s weakness.
- Deriving sadistic pleasure in pointing out the weakness in other child.
- If my child or I am miserable how come other’s child is happier.
- Fighting for the political power in family by making child a battle ground for point scoring.
- Making my children a platform for redress of all my frustrations, deprivations and shortcomings by trying extra hard to the point of torture to make my children excel at things that I could never achieve.
Other Posts on Parental Counseling
- Parenting and Physical/Corporal Punishment
- Harmful Effects of Comparing Siblings
- Parenting Challenges of the 21st Century
- 5 Major Misconceptions of Muslim Parents regarding Parenting Challenges of the 21st Century
- Psychiatrist vs Educationist-Selecting whom to consult: Psychiatrist, Neurologist, Psychologist, Educationist, “Aamil” (Exorcist), “Pir” or “Shaikh”
- How Language Acquisition is Made Difficult for Children: Eight Lessons from an Urdu Acquisition Case Study
- Progress vs Pollution and Development vs Destruction of Nature? Costs of Progress and Development
- Eight Disconnectivities induced by Social Networks and Smart Phones: Costs of Tech Connectedness
- Small is Beautiful: Why Small Businesses should Replace Big Businesses (A Case Study of Rickshaws vs Buses)
- How to define success of a school or a student
- Why Education and Why Higher Education: Leadership in Life and Society
- Testing/Grading vs Motivation: A Variation on Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle for Academics
- Iqbal’s view on What is Meant to be Educated
- Learning Problems: Top 9 Questions to Answer Before You Run for Help
- Education as Tazkia: Is a child like a clean slate?
- Bell-curve assumption about the distribution of intelligence of students
- Pursuit of Excellence vs Guzara: How to teach excellence through everyday examples
- Charter of Children’s Recognition
- How Maths is Made More Difficult
- Fairness in Grading: A Lesson by the Great Dijkstra
- Beauty is our Business: Dijkstra and Mathematics
- Holistic Learning and Whole Life Orientation