Don’t com­pare

> Never shat­ter your child’s con­fi­dence or joy by weigh­ing his achieve­ments against his peers’

The Sun (Malaysia) - - FAMILY TIES -

Stu­dents are be­ing la­belled at an early age.

Even some as young as six who are just about to en­ter pri­mary school have to sit for tests so that the school can stream them into classes based on their exam re­sults.

It is not wrong to have com­pe­ti­tion. Af­ter all, it is im­por­tant that chil­dren learn how to deal with dis­ap­point­ment and de­feat.

But I be­lieve that this ought to come at an ap­pro­pri­ate age.

We do not need to in­stil the ‘ki­asu’ at­ti­tude in chil­dren. Let chil­dren en­joy their child­hood. They don’t need to grow up so quickly.

Let their days be filled with ex­plo­ration. Let them play and learn how to work to­gether in a team.

Let them dis­cover, in­vent, imag­ine, marvel and cre­ate be­fore they need to face the real rat race in adult­hood.

Soon enough, they will have to com­pete against others, where it’s nearly al­ways the bet­ter em­ployee who gets the pro­mo­tion, or the sales­man with high­est sales who gets the in­cen­tive.

If your child did well in a test, praise him for work­ing hard. You don’t need to bring up that your neigh­bour’s son scored higher marks.

If your child did not do so well, work on it to­gether. Set the bench­mark against your child’s own abil­ity, not others’.

Theodore Roo­sevelt said: “Com­par­i­son is the thief of joy.”

Take a leaf from the book of co­me­dian C.K. Louis, who once said: “The only time you look in your neigh­bour’s bowl is to make sure that they have enough.

“You don’t look in your neigh­bour’s bowl to see if you have as much as them.”

Teach your kids that the only rea­son you look at your neigh­bours is to make sure that they have enough, not to see if they have more than you.

Ly­dia Teh is a mother of four and au­thor of nine books, in­clud­ing the lat­est, Cow Sense for Young Peo­ple. Send com­ments to life­style.ly­dia@the­sundaily.com.

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