|image used by permission|
We all do it. Compare the things we own (or the bank owns). Compare the knowledge we have. Compare the marriage we have. ....Compare our children.
As we begin another school year, read this great reminder from Becky.
“I need to teach Jack the bible stories!” I said to myself as I left a playdate one afternoon. While the kids were playing in the sandbox, I overheard the other children talking about Jonah and the Whale. My friend’s adorable 2 year old daughter told her Mommy that Jonah was in the whale for 3 days, the same as Jesus was in the tomb. I sat there amazed. “Jack doesn’t even know who Jonah is!” I thought to myself.
Days later, while browsing the bargain books at Lifeway, I picked up a copy of a children’s Old Testament storybook. Determined to teach Jack who Jonah was in the bible, I got home only to realize that Jonah’s story wasn’t included in the discounted book. Sigh…
Have you ever had a similar experience? As parents, we want our children to succeed and be the best that they can be. That’s a given. But do our comparisons do more harm than good?
We log online to see pictures and share our own stories, but I would caution those who do so. This is not the place to compare ourselves or our children. Each of us was given a gift. For my friend, that gift is with scripture memorization and teaching her child to do so. For me, I love arts and crafts! I could sit with my child all day long and create new projects. For another friend, she would rather be outside all day without structured workbooks.
Regardless of the groups we fit into, God gifted us with the children we love for a reason. When we become obsessed with comparing our situation to someone else's, we miss out on the joy of what we’re getting to experience.
So with that said, I encourage you to remember that every child and situation is different. Each kid has a different learning style. My older son loves to draw, imagine and create whereas my youngest loves to climb, roll and run. While one child may excel in reading, the other may be great at athleticism and motor skills. We can only play on their strengths and encourage them in times of weakness. Then they will know the full extent of unconditional love and acceptance so that hopefully when they are older, there won’t be the temptation to compare themselves to others. Let kids be kids. And let’s enjoy them while we can.
Becky is a stay at home mom living in East Tennessee. She loves writing, mentoring and trying to balance life with two rambunctious (and messy) little boys. As a former people-pleaser, Becky is set out to encourage women to fix their eyes upon Jesus and ignore what the world is telling us to do or be. Her dream is to one day become a published author and work in women’s ministry. Read more from Becky on her blog Unabridged Becky.
How do you keep from falling into the comparison trap?