It starts early; sometimes even before your child is born. You find yourself discussing how many times a day your baby kicks with another soon-to-be mom. Once they’re here, it’s easy to chat with other new parents about when your kid began crawling, how advanced their little one is with language already, or when that first blissful sleep through the night happened. And before you know it, it seems as though every conversation you have with another parent revolves around the kids, their milestones, and comparison upon comparison.
It’s easy to feel like your parenting skills don’t quite measure up, or that your child is somehow behind the ball – just as easy as it is to inadvertently make another parent feel the same way. Here are a few tips to help you avoid falling into the comparison parenting trap…
Set discussion boundaries.
Avoid talking about hot button issues like breastfeeding, soothers, and spanking. And don’t forget about the surprising topics that can turn into heated discussions like outfit choices, snack preferences, and favourite toys. My rule of thumb? If I know I disagree or don’t want to hear another parent’s opinion on something, they probably don’t want to hear mine.
Focus on your family and your priorities.
Does your busy schedule leave you time to prepare your kid homemade, raw, vegan snacks? Is it the end of the world to you if breastfeeding doesn’t work out and you go with formula? Is it important that your three-year-old be enrolled in music lessons, ballet, and soccer? No? Then don’t worry about it when another parent claims their toddler is already fluent in three languages. Remind yourself of what matters most to your family, the areas your own child is excelling at, and let fellow parents do the same.
Stop comparing. Start celebrating!
Instead of second-guessing your parenting or doubting your own child’s abilities, try being happy for fellow parents and their children. Be genuinely excited when their little boy makes it down the park slide all by himself. Give them a high-five when their daughter lands the lead in the school play. Hopefully your own positive attitude will inspire them to be just as pumped and proud when your kid hits their next milestone.Parenting struggles 101: Stop #comparing and start #celebrating! Click To Tweet
A little bragging is perfectly natural so don’t be afraid to toot your kid’s horn every now and again. Just be ready to cheer on your fellow parents and all the amazing things their kids are doing as well. Happy parenting!