It’s natural to be proud of our kid’s achievements but how much is too much?
There’s a growing conversation over on theAsianparent Community about how to deal with parents who constantly compare their kids to yours.
Why it may seem simple enough, it may be a struggle for most parents who often find themselves having to deal with their fellow parents who can’t stop recounting their kids’ achievements.
Social media is teeming with it and simply unfollowing them may be the solution but what if you have to deal with them face to face?
Dr. Alvin Rosenfeld, co-author of The Over-Scheduled Child: Avoiding the Hyper-Parenting Trap says it’s important for parents to remember to focus on the child as a whole.
“Many focus on their children’s achievements, rather than getting to know their kids as individuals,” he says. “The dilemma is when kids become valued only for their accomplishments — or when they live up to your fantasies of what they ought to accomplish — not for who they are as people.”
1. Be Compassionate
Often, parents who constantly try to show off about their children’s accomplishments are dealing with feelings of sadness or inadequacy concerning their own performance as a child.
So, it’s important to see where they’re coming from. Be more understanding of your friend because, praising their child may be their own way of coping, and it may not necessarily be intended to make you feel bad about your own child.
Don’t doubt that the parent may just be genuinely proud of their child.
2. Ask yourself why it upsets you
Considering your own feelings can help you see if you’re overreacting. You may be reacting a certain way because of your own feelings of disappointment or frustrations.
Don’t get into the habit of getting annoyed whenever a certain friend starts talking about their child because you’ll start to resent your friend for making you feel this way, even if this wasn’t their intention.
3. Change the subject
Subtle hints without hurting your friend’s feelings like steering the conversation into a different topic can help ease some tension.
Redirect the interaction while also being polite. For instance, if your friend proudly tells you about how their kid won a swimming competition, you can try to give your own anecdote about swimming or sports that’s not necessarily about your own child.
4. Ask questions
Engaging parents who love talking about their kids can help you like them more. Often, your annoyance stems from boxing them into this stereotype of being the “bragging parent”.
You’ll be surprised at how much you have in common if you just make the extra effort to show a genuine interest in them–not only as a parent but as an individual.
5. Avoid the “one-upper”
Don’t try to out-do your friend every time you feel like they’re starting to brag about their kids. It won’t really be a productive use of your time and you might says things you don’t really mean.
There are a lot of ways to deal with parents who compare their kids to yours. It’s important to value kindness and compassion above all because we are all rooting for our kids to succeed.
READ: Facebook Motherhood Challenge: Insensitive or just for fun?
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