Never compare yourself to others. You’ll become either vain or bitter.
I’m reading the chapter on comparing siblings in Siblings Without Rivalry and it is making me think. As she discusses the way that criticizing or praising changes the way a child views themself, I am having a lot of a-ha moments.
I am a very competitive person, and I would be lying if I said that I don’t care what other people think or do. Not only do I care, but I also strive to one up people. It’s terrible, but true. I am really trying hard to both fix it in myself and to teach my kids to do better.
I have told myself that it is ok to occasionally tell my children things like “You can eat so much neater than the baby” or “Look how your sister went straight to her car seat and buckled herself.” Now I am cringing as I type those statements out because I see how I was building up pride and vanity while making my kids think they were better or more loved at the expense of the other one. It is something that I’ve just recently started doing, and I am kicking myself!
Although I’m sure it made my dd proud to hear that I was happy that she buckled herself, it made my son feel as though he couldn’t measure up. When I told my son he could eat more neatly, then he told himself he was better than she is. I’m such a dunce!
So instead of me saying “You picked up all of your toys!” and my son thinking “I’m great at cleaning up!”, I sometimes said “You don’t leave stuff around like your sister. She’s too young to clean up after herself.” and he thought “I’m better than her!” Grrrrreat Not exactly the lesson I was trying to teach.
This whole DescriptivePraise thing is tough for me. I naturally slip into “Good job!” and “That’s beautiful!” instead of “You folded all of the laundry!” or “Look at all of the lines that you drew!” (I almost put “beautiful lines” in my example! Ack!) This is something I need to concentrate on…