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Parents comparing my child to others


soulsista29
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My parents have always compared my siblings and I to others, particularly to do with grades. It seemed to stop when we became adults.

Now I have a child and I feel they are doing the same to my child. They dont say it directly but they say things like "A's grandson was walking at 9 months". "A's grandkids can speak chinese so well, play the piano....etc..." They are not saying why cant my child be more like them but I feel like they are comparing. I mean my child is only 17 months and can only say a few words at the moment.

But when my parents make comments about their friends grandkids, it makes me feel depressed and anxious. It makes me feel like I'm a bad mum and I'm not doing enough. I feel this will keep going on as my little one gets older and when my siblings start having kids. I currently dont compare my child to others, I know that kids develop at different rates but once she starts activities or school, I feel like I will start comparing her to others and I dont want to do that.

How do I stop comparing myself/my child to others?

How do I not let my parents comparison comments affect me?

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Try to dismiss it as idle chatter and don't allow past resentments to keep creeping into the next generation. The only important thing is how they treat you, your husband and your child directly, not whatever seemingly oblique comments they are making about grandparents and grandchildren in general. Just let it go in one ear and out the other to avoid making yourself crazy trying to interpret or put a spin on their comments.

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Can you be frank with your parents and ask, "Can I ask why you're bringing this up? I feel as though you're asking why my child can't do the same things at his/her age." Perhaps when you call them out on their passive/agressive digs or misguided attempts at motivating you to make your child into a wunderkind, they will stop.

 

Another way to teach people how to treat you? When the subject goes to that area, if you're on the phone, say, "Well it was nice talking to you. I have to go and attend to . . . " If you're at their house, cut the visit short and say, "Well, time to go." They will learn that to have the gift of your presence, they will keep the subject to pleasant discussions. Be proactive to avoid being a victim.

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How do I stop comparing myself/my child to others?

How do I not let my parents comparison comments affect me?

 

By letting go of your own child role and adopting instead the role of 'the' reasonable adult in your family dynamics.

 

We each are either forced to make that leap by circumstances, such as a parent's illness, or we will navigate the transition gradually over time, but we do own control over how gracefully and thoroughly we will accept that transfer of power.

 

Sometimes the limits of a parent's knowledge or maturity smacks us in an obvious demo of their provinciality, other times we notice a regression as they age. But once we are adults, it's no longer the job of our parents to continue 'raising' us--it's our job to pursue our own development to surpass where they left off.

 

So disabuse yourself of the idea that you remain at the mercy of your parents' parenting. Start to teach them your preferences in small increments and model for them your own standards of parenting. This can be done in simple requests over time that will yield cumulative changes. "I'm not a fan of comparing one child with another. I've read some good cautions against doing that--may I share those with you?"

 

Your rules become your own household rules, and if your parents want to earn the right to have baby in their home, they'll need to demo the adoption of your rules and preferences. State these in small doses over time, and if you sense any pushback or a power struggle, there are plenty of books and articles on how to 'train' parents to relinquish those.

 

Head high, and congrAts on your ownership of Motherhood.

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"A's grandkids can speak chinese so well, play the piano....etc..."

 

One great technique for curbing comparisons or criticism is to reassign responsibility for them.

 

"Wow! That is a great idea! Would you like to start teaching Baby'sName chinese?" or, "Gee... I wonder how much piano lessons would cost. That would make a wonderful family gift for Baby'sName's birthday next year!"

 

Comments about your housekeeping, cooking or any other skill: "That's a very good observation. If you'd like to improve that, I'd welcome your help."

 

This technique works for any kind of criticism from nearly anyone--on the job or at home. "Oh, that's a marvelous idea! How would you like to begin, and how can I (or we) help you get started on that?"

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One great technique for curbing comparisons or criticism is to reassign responsibility for them.

 

"Wow! That is a great idea! Would you like to start teaching Baby'sName chinese?" or, "Gee... I wonder how much piano lessons would cost. That would make a wonderful family gift for Baby'sName's birthday next year!"

 

Comments about your housekeeping, cooking or any other skill: "That's a very good observation. If you'd like to improve that, I'd welcome your help."

 

This technique works for any kind of criticism from nearly anyone--on the job or at home. "Oh, that's a marvelous idea! How would you like to begin, and how can I (or we) help you get started on that?"

 

These are great tips and ideas and I like the kill 'em with kindness kind of thing. I've had other moms compare my child's height (he is short) to their child - in front of him. It's not fun. I like Seraphim's idea too and I would tell your parents "in our family we compare [son's name] to himself because that's all that matters to us so I appreciate your input and it's not how we do things in our family." And keep up that separation.

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