In Life, Parenting

Stop comparing children to each other

This one, infuriated me the most. It really did.

You cannot compare children to each other. Every child is different. Some are more “likable” and others are less “likable”, if you want to put it that way.

They think Little Bun is ill-behaved because he is SHY. His main language is English, so when people speak to him in any language BUT English, he clams up.

He is SHY.

He is INTROVERTED.

He is NOTHING like Little Cousin.

Little Cousin is likable because he is easy-going, he is friendly, and not as shy, and his first language is French all the way. His parents speak French to him, he has French in Paris, and is constantly surrounded in FRENCH. Of course he speaks FRENCH perfectly.

Little Bun is the opposite but it doesn’t make him any less likable.

HIS first language is ENGLISH. So hearing French from all sides? He is confused AF right now.

I can see good and bad points in Little Bun, as a result and I am not saying he is perfect. He has flaws, like all of us, and has to work through them like all of us. But now?! At the age of FOUR? We are going to come down harsh on him and make him even more self-conscious and upset?


He prefers quieter environments, and would love to stay at home and read as he gets older, I can see that.

He isn’t as loud, is shyer, I can see that he is intellectually already showing signs of being curious, interested and intelligent, and is just different. Not better or worse.

His cousin, is a little calmer, doesn’t want to really do anything but sit around and play with toys, and just goes along with whatever is happening and seems to have less of a will of his own unlike Little Bun who is very strong-willed, opinionated and constantly arguing with me which I LOVE in an adult and want to encourage as an individual but it is very trying as a mother.

So. His cousin is more likable and Little Bun is not, in comparison…

I hate this f**#%(ing comparison of children because it hurts as his mother, to see him not shown as much affection or love because he is less outgoing.

I kiss and hug and love him so often I hope it makes up for the way people treat him, in that they ignore him, and/or are always scolding or trying to force him to do what they want without coaxing him out of his shell first.

He isn’t necessarily treated badlybut the difference is clear and he can see it and feel it. It will just get more pronounced as he gets older, and his cousin gets everything over him.

Society prefers and favours those who are outgoing, extroverted and ‘likable’, and while I can help him grow out of his shell and learn techniques to be more sociable, it is only starting now at 4-years old.

It isn’t like he is 13-years old yet and can understand social mores and manners.

He is still, a child. Not a baby, but a small child and children need time.

They are CONSTANTLY saying how much better the other cousin is and it is getting on my nerves because he can understand what they are saying even if he is only a child. You can feel the negativity, and you can feel that people don’t respond to you in the way they do to others.

They also have rose-coloured glasses on when it comes to habits and behaviours of my partner versus his other brother…

They are saying things that aren’t even true because they believe it to be true, and everything they do is so much better than the way we do it — the way I raise Little Bun, the way I talk to him, the way I allow him to come to me and nestle into my chest when he is feeling insecure about things and just needs my arms around him to reassure him….

I apparently have to push him away, make him be more independent, and  pull back from him to make him “a man”. There is PLENTY OF TIME FOR THAT.

He will soon, in his pre-teen and teen years, perhaps not want me any more, and I will look back with regret on these days that I didn’t cuddle and give him as much love as he wanted.

I will consequently, give Little Bun the same love and space that he needs as he gets older so that he grows to become his own independent person.

I think we are all forgetting that he is only 4 years old, not 14. Not 40.

As an example, the family keeps saying how much Little Cousin eats, how he is such a good eater.. and that is a lot of BOSH. They’re praising him for something that isn’t even true.

I’ve seen this kid eat, and it is barely anything because he has to be COAXED to even eat a bite, and ends up getting a flavoured yoghurt out of desperation of getting SOME food into him.

In a typical day, he starts with chocolate flavoured milk, a biscuit, a flavoured yoghurt, then maybe 5 olives for lunch, two bites of pasta, two bites of mashed potatoes, and for dinner, a roll of bread and three bites of dinner if you are lucky. Done.

Eats well? I don’t think so. Not by the definition, when you actually objectively compare him to other children who truly “eat well”..

Little Bun is the definition of a kid who eats well and we are very lucky – just in one day, he can eat 2 yoghurts, a banana, 2 pieces of cake, 2 lunches (his vegetable stew & pasta, and then whatever we eat for lunch), plus a huge helping of dinner, a mango, half a peach, and two biscuits as a treat.

Where we drew the short stick in that he doesn’t like to sleep alone, and is shyer, less outgoing, a little more willful & stubborn, clingy.

There are good and bad points in both children, they are different and yet both ‘normal’.

There is no one definition of a good or bad child based on personalities.

Time will only tell as they age if they will become good adults and citizens.

UGH.

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Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

Millionaire at 36 after getting out of $60K of student debt in 18 months, a little over a decade earlier, using TheBudgetingTool.com. Since then, I have paid my $600K home in cash (my half was $300K), my $180K casr in cash, worked 50% of my career (taking 1-2 year breaks), and quadrupled my income within 2 years of graduating, going from $65K to $260K with an average lifetime savings rate of 50%. I could retire today if I wanted, but love my work-life balance as a freelancing consultant in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I am all about balance - between time and money, and also enjoying my money. I also post daily on Instagram @saverspender.

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10 Comments

  1. Catherine

    I don’t really remember this but it happened to us as kids, from my dad’s side of the family.

    This is what my mom told me. My grandma and aunts/uncles would say very similar things. My sisters and I are quiet, introverted type, who behaved, liked to read and were a bit clingy to my parents. We weren’t outgoing, and we didn’t know how to “suck up” by complimenting my elders.

    My mom got all sorts of feedback that she worried too much about our upbringing, and that children “will learn how to sort everything out if you let them.” But my mom didn’t listen to them and kept raising her kids as she saw fit. This actually benefited their kids too, because at the beach, my mom would make sure she was with us, while my aunts/uncles just let their kids “run free.”

    My sisters and I are all successful professionals. We stand up for ourselves, and we stand up for our family. We don’t need to have our hand out because we are in a position to not only take care of ourselves, but help others when we can.

    All I’m trying to say, it’s a long a game. Make your own rules. I also think it’s completely fine to say to your relatives – I don’t want you to say those things in front of my child. If they must, speak to yourself and his father to discuss their concerns, if they are truly worried about your grandson.

    Reply
  2. Joy

    Hey Sherry,

    Though I don’t have children and can’t relate to you in that way, reading this post made me very angry. I’m really sorry that you and Little Bun are experiencing this.

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      Thank you for taking the time to comment.

      Reply
  3. ArianaAuburn

    Such b.s. They need to mind their f___ business. Children are not objects to be compared with. Such behavior robs them of their humanity. Unless these relatives share the burdens and the hard work of raising, feeding, teaching your baby bun on a regular basis they can go f___ themselves. Seriously.

    Reply
  4. Alice

    If this is a strong indication of how your partner was treated, I can see why he moved overseas xD

    Reply
  5. Financial Orchid

    I think it happens without the parents realizing it. It’s human and natural.

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      It isn’t us comparing them. It is the others.

      Reply

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