Creative Child

Don’t Compare

by Sarah Lyons


Focus on the child’s efforts

Instead of comparing one child’s struggles to another child’s successes, try to focus on each individual child’s efforts and improvements. “I have to remind myself that the kids are all different and continue to train them accordingly. Eventually they will mature at their own pace and will ultimately grow into productive independent adults.” says Kelly Lawton, mother of five. Things come easily to some people, while others put in lots of hard work to gain the same result. Instead of noting the ease which one child can accomplish tasks, take note and celebrate the child who is putting in the most effort and congratulate them on any improvements made. “Once I embraced their differences,” says Clark “I could appreciate where they are as little people.”

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Celebrate individual milestones

As parents, we all desire to be “fair” to all of our children. I noticed as my children grew I became so focused on being fair that I was missing the celebration of the individual milestones that were important and meaningful to each child. Being fair is a great goal, but part of that is appreciating each child’s differences rather than comparing them as a group  For instance, when you notice your child has achieved a new accomplishment make sure to share it with the entire family at dinner. It lets them know you pay attention to their individual accomplishments

No one wants to hear the words “Why can’t you be more like your sister?”  Comparisons feel like judgement to a child. While it goes against our natural instinct, we must learn to see the individuality in our children. “My twin girls are emotionally different which has led me to parent each one differently. The sensitive one needs gentle corrections while the other responds better to timeouts and words of affirmation.” says Jennifer Klindworth of Olathe. “When we have the chance, we separate them and go on outings for one on one time. It is amazing how different they are when they are not competing for attention.” Loving and appreciating your children for their differences doesn’t mean you love one more than other.  It means you have learned to love each one of them for their own unique qualities.


How to Notice Unique Qualities in Your Children

  • Treat them as individuals
  • Seek out what makes them unique
  • Recognize their strengths and struggles
  • Choose activities they love
  • Foster separate friendships
  • Find out their love language from the book “The Five Love Languages of Children” by Gary Chapman and Ross Campbell
  • Listen to what they say
  • Give them choices
  • Spend one on one time with each child

Sarah Lyons is a stay at home wife and mother of six children, including 18 month old triplets. Using creative consequences with her kids has improved their behavior and encourages healthy relationships with each other.

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