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As a parent it can be tempting to start comparing your family to another. Especially if you are interacting on social media you may notice you start to compare your vacation, job, family, and children to your friend’s posts on social media. Parents often talk about their children’s successes and post adorable pictures of their kids on these outlets. In order not to play the comparison game you need to be aware of your thoughts and feelings. Whenever you start to feel inadequate or insufficient, check yourself. Are you unrealistically comparing yourself to others? Here are four reasons why you should never compare yourself to other parents.
- Every Family is Different – Each individual family functions differently and that is okay. Your family doesn’t need to do something exactly like another family. In parenting there isn’t always one right way. There are often multiple ways to do things so don’t immediately jump to conclusion that you are doing something wrong if it looks different from another parent’s strategy.
- It’s Not Helpful – When you compare yourself to others you aren’t adding anything to your life. You may start to feel anxiety or stress and that is not helpful. It will not help you achieve your goals and it may take away some of your daily joy.
- You May Not Know the Whole Story– Often times you don’t know exactly what other families or parents are facing. When you start comparing yourself against their highlight reel you most likely will start to feel disappointed. Facebook posts often don’t show the entire picture. You can start to worry without knowing the entire story.
- Setting Examples– As a parent you set an example for your children every day. If they notice you get caught up in comparison they may start to do the same thing. It can lead to children feeling not good about themselves or bring out too much competitiveness.
A few ideas are to avoid comparing yourself to other parents is to limit your time on social media. Also remember every individual is different. One way to remind yourself of all you have to be thankful is to create a gratitude journal. Another idea is to share what you are grateful for every night at dinner. It’s a great way to get your entire family involved in positive self awareness. Have you ever gotten caught up in the comparison game with other parents? What did you do to stop this negative thinking?