We all like to compare ourselves to others, whether we think we do or not. So when it comes to our children we are almost twice as competitive. Some parents want their children to be the best in the class, some just worry whether their kids can keep up, and for some we worry that our children are slow learners or that they have special educational needs. Whichever category you fit into, comparing your kids to others only results in stress, anxiety, and counter productiveness.
Most children already know who in the class is the smartest but what is important to make children aware of is that there is more than just “book smart”. Children all progress at different speeds and just because one child is slower in the formative years, doesn’t mean they will be forever.
Children are extremely receptive to emotions and your anxiety could result negatively on their own confidence. By worrying you could be affecting your child’s progress. In fact the best way to help your child is to spend less time worrying and more time focusing on how to help them develop.
Pushing children to be the best or even keep up with others will put too much pressure on them, so it is best to focus on what will help them and not on what will get them up to the standard of other children. Set realistic goals for your child, encourage them but also don’t be afraid to criticize constructively.
This kind of advice may make you think that you can sit back and relax but this is not synonymous with benchmarking against other children. Children should be pushed in fun, engaging ways. They should be given every opportunity to create and explore and be given the gift of curiosity at every turn. Children need help through school and it is a matter of finding the right ways to guide them.