As a parent, it’s easy to compare your child’s development to another child’s, but this is more harmful than it is helpful. Here are five reasons why you should never compare your child to others.

1. Every child is different

It’s very obvious to know that no two kids are exactly the same. Everyone is different and no two children have the same developmental process. If you have more than one kid you figure this out very quickly, but if this is your first baby, it’s natural to think the process can be similar. Of course it can be, but child development is more varied than people think. Development is not “one size fits all” and when the time is right your baby will begin grow and develop. This process cannot be rushed, but simply happens when the child is ready.

2. Lowers self esteem

When you begin comparing your child to others and the child notices this, it could be harmful to your child. This is because they will begin thinking that they aren’t “good enough” and self doubt will form. This is detrimental because a child should feel valued and like they don’t need to live up to other’s expectations. They should not fear being judged by their own parent.

3. Resentment from the child

When you compare your child directly to another they could develop resentment. Comparisons are a clear shout saying that they are not good enough. It becomes very obvious to the child that someone is developing or performing better than they are and you’re wishing they were better. This would make them capable of falling into the self fulfilling prophecy where they think they’re going to fail anyways so they will stop trying all together.

4. Pedestals are made

When you compare your child’s development to someone else’s they will see you putting someone else on a pedestal. If they know that they cannot live up to that pedestal they could develop a negative image of themselves. A pedestal could be made for your child, but also for you. You may begin thinking that you’re not parenting your child the right way, when in reality, it’s a growing process. You both – parent and child – grow and learn together.

5. Developmental milestones are different for every child

There are such things as baby developmental milestones that can be used as a guideline to see how your child is developing, but it’s only that; a guideline. It’s important to take note of your child’s development, but this process comes naturally and there’s a massive range of what is “normal” for a kids development. You can help and influence your child’s development process, but it happens on the baby’s time but doesn’t fret if someone’s toddler is walking and running at the age of one and your child isn’t. Don’t loose sleep over a process that isn’t entirely in your control.

You’re in this together 

While it’s important to see how other children are developing, it’s also crucial to not be too worried if your little one is behind in the process. In reality, there is no correct time for a certain phase in the developmental process to happen. It takes time and no child is the same. On the other hand though, no parent is the same. So while it’s important to not compare your children to others, you also shouldn’t compare your parenting style to another’s. Like we mentioned earlier, you and your child grow together. Everything happens as it should. It’s important not to rush things for you and your little one.