This month, we want to focus on the theme of comparison. It seems to be a natural part of being a human: we all compare ourselves to others.
We are often approached by parents who are feeling very worried about their child, and this can be related to comparison. If children are not doing as well as friends, peers or family members it can be a huge source of stress for parents, and this stress can then be passed on to their children.
We thought it would be useful to explore this with you and hopefully offer some help and support.
Comparisons in education
The present education system can focus on comparing children to what is ‘expected’ for their age. To some degree this is helpful, as it is something that parents have always asked us as teachers: ‘Is my child doing okay compared to their peers?’
However, these measures and comparisons do not take into account the complexity and importance of each child’s development. Children develop at different rates. They may be one of the younger children in their year group. Academic, social, emotional and physical development can all have an impact on learning.
Believe in your child!
We are all sensitive to comparisons regarding ourselves and our children. The modern world offers these up continually! It can be stressful when we think our children are not doing as well as others.
But remember, these are only snapshots in time. Struggling at points in their education is inevitable.
All you need to do is focus on your child. We have seen so many incredible parents do this in ways that have helped their children flourish, and grow into adults who know their own mind, follow their own dreams and have the resilience and strength to overcome the challenges they will face.
It can be helpful to:
- Focus on your child as the individual they are. If they are a little disheartened then try to remember what inspired and interested them when they were very little and encourage these things now.
- Be aspirational for them at whatever point they are at: you can do this by encouraging and praising effort and not focussing on the measures of achievement.
- Practise active listening. When they want to talk, stop what you are doing, look them in the eye and give them your full attention. This will build their individuality and self-confidence as it will help them to clarify their own thoughts and ideas. Your attention will help to validate these.
- Try to protect yourself, and your child, from the unhelpful views and opinions of others. (This can be hard as sometimes these people are your friends and family!)
- Build their world and interests. Becoming educated is a lifelong pleasure and does not only happen at school!
Please contact us if you would like more information about how to help your child: email@example.com
Visit Tutor Your Child for even more advice and support.