3 tips to help your child when they compare themselves to their sibling or others

Does your child compare themself to others and feel that they don’t match up? And no matter what you say to them, they still feel bad about themselves. This is just a pattern of thinking, and there is a lot you can do to shift it.

Here are 3 things you can do to shift their way of thinking

  1. Become aware of where you compare them

Start to notice, do you ever compare them? Even if you don’t verbalize it, do you compare them? Do you ever refer to their sibling of how they do things when you speak to them? Step 1 is to stop this completely, even if you have these conversations with friends when they are not there. When we have that judgement in us, they know!  When we do this, it meets our needs, almost making it feel more comfortable for us or perhaps thinking it will motivate them but unfortunately all it does is make them feel bad about themselves and it feeds their pattern of comparing. Practice seeing them as a person without judging or making their behaviour define who they are.

  1. Build their perception about themselves

There are 2 ways we can do this, when they are in the moment and feel bad about themself in comparison, acknowledge their feeling (don’t make it wrong) I can see you feel this way and then ask them What can you do? When you do this consistently you interrupt their pattern of thought and that is enough. Be patient not to expect a result immediately. You are giving their brain a silent instruction to take responsibility for how they feel. Then in other moments, notice when they feel good about themselves and ask them How do they feel? This draws awareness from their thoughts to their feelings to create a frame of reference of when they feel good about themselves

  1. Identify the need behind the comparison

Behind all behaviour is a need. When we satisfy the need the behaviour changes. There can be a few needs behind your child comparing. 1. They can compare to get your attention or a reaction from you. If this is the case, be intentional to give them a bit of quality time at other moments consistently – this could be a 5-minute conversation with your undivided attention, it could be noticing something they have done and validating it with presence. Consistently meeting their need for connection in your daily schedule can reduce their need to seek attention in unresourceful ways. 2. It can give them a sense of comfort and a reason not to try. Here you need a combination of holding them accountable to do what they must from a place that you “believe in them” and not from a place of them being wrong and then to also validate/acknowledge them whenever they do well or feel happy. This creates a frame of reference for them of when they feel they can. Avoid trying to influence or explain to them in relation to their sibling.

In closing

Use these tips and others I provide in my blogs.  I am here to support you through your entire parent journey 

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About the Author

Gail is a Family Relationship Coach specialising in Parent-Child Relationships. She is passionate about empowering and inspiring parents to develop children’s self-awareness. She believes that this can be achieved by balancing parent’s needs with children’s development and happiness. Understanding how to synchronise our thoughts and emotions and what drives them ensures our happiness, and our children reaching their full potential. Gail is a Qualified NLP Practitioner, NLP Life Coach and Emotional Freedom Techniques Practitioner with over 10 years’ experience and success at applying these techniques to children’s learning and behaviour. Her success with her own son is proof of the possibility of true potential

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