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Playing the Rivalry Game

Sibling rivalry and peer rivalry are part of life. As human beings, it is natural to want to know where your child ranks in comparison to other children even their own siblings.  It is crucial to remember that every child is different.  No two children understand,

conceptualize, or even see events in the same way.

Anything you can do, I can do better

Playing the comparison game is not only daunting; it can be unmistakably tiring.  Better yet, comparing your child to another, including a sibling, can actually be more harmful than it is helpful.  So, how do we stop doing it?

Focus on your child’s strengths

Focusing on a child’s strengths rather than their deficiencies allows them freedom to become more independent, self-aware, confident, and internally motivated to be the best version of themselves.

Allow children to develop at their own pace

As previously stated, all children are different, and often develop at a diverse pace.  However, most children thrive when change takes place on their own personalized timeline.  When striving to meet a benchmark or achieve the next developmental goal, learn what works best for your child while appreciating and accepting their capabilities.

Be an example for your child

Instead of playing the comparison “criticism” game, why not model empathy and compassion for your child?  Demonstrating tolerance, consideration, and kindness to others is a surefire way to combat ugly judgments and promote an attitude of openness and healthy vulnerability.

Define contentment that has nothing to do with anyone else

When describing, “success” or “what is acceptable” when it comes to your child’s progress, have them set the expectation based on what they know they can do, rather than what someone else can or might accomplish.  This will not only teach them goal-setting skills, but it will also set them up for success because the only person that they are competing against is themselves.


Raising a child without comparing them to other children is highly feasible.  Focusing on strengths instead of deficits, allowing them to develop at their own pace, being an example of kindness toward others, and defining contentment by their own standards are just a few ways to accomplish this feat.  For more information relevant to this topic, or any other child/child development issue, we are here to assist you!  Please contact us here or at 832-421-8714.


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