Monday, May 08, 2006


We all go through life comparing things , from homes to cars , people, jobs, prices, places and things.We even go to the extent of comparing each others spouses . When it comes to children should we compare? When I was growing up my parents would always compare us to the neighbors children or to one cousin or another. Sometimes it made us happy to know that we were better and sometimes it made us sad that we could not live up to our parents expectation. I never gave this much thought and I am guilty of doing this to my own children.

Children are different, even if they belong to the same family, one may take life seriously while the other is a little more laid back. One may excel in studies while the other in sports, one may be more sensitive and kind. Each child comes with his or her special quality that makes them unique. I was like most Indian parents only worried about how well my child did in school, that I missed seeing the other qualities in the child who did not do so well .

I came across a poem that my son had written for a poetry assignment , it made me sad that this is how he felt, I made him live in his sisters shadow, I had not allowed him to be the person he should be. I think children should be allowed to see and learn from the examples or goals set by others and learn for themselves instead of constantly being compared . I wanted my son to be like his sister instead of helping him grow into the person he really is. I am so glad that a little poem has made me more aware of his feelings. I will instill in him the importance of an education, not because of his sister but because its good for him.

Written by Vijay age 15

My family is an active volcano that at any time may erupt
My parents are the rocks battling for position
My sister is the lava, the spectacular performance everyone awaits to see
My father is the mountain, stands tall and proud, waiting for people to admire its sculpture
My mother is the crater, wounded but survived, takes one for the mountain, unselfish until death
I have no place on this volcano, the skills that I posses do not fit its purpose or design.


Jackal 12:13 PM  

aaww tht was hard hitting.....lot of ppl do tht......always looking arnd...always comparing....esp where children are concerned at times it leads to lot of resentment.....i remember as a kid we were always told how good the the boy next door was doing in class..which even wasn't true he always lied abt his grades....
..then we compare other things..crave for others have...i think if ppl learn to be satisfied with wht they have..they wud be a lot more happier ppl arnd....

starry nights 12:32 PM  

Jackal...You are right,If we want our children to do well, we have to encourage them and help them,comparing does cause a lot of resentment.

Inji Pennu 6:24 PM  

Oh I think this story is repeated everywhere in every family and i truly feel sad. But whats the solution? You know as parents,you cant just lay back and think
"Oh,it is okay if my kid doesnt get good marks?" Parents are worried to death ,esp in India about kids education,bcos you know without that there is nothing. You dont want to see only one of your kids doing good in life. But the main problem is at that age, you will never never understand. at that age,life is kind,nice and sweet. But in reality it is not.It is really a rat race.

And how much ever we dont want to repeat the mistakes out parents did,we end up like them 100%.

But as we all know,
'theoretically' it is not good to
compare. You son should be taught that he should come up in life for himself and not to show others. Your daughter also should be told about that. If she gets 100/100 it is good for her not because she is the only one who got it or she topped everyone. I think that will make them better persons first of all! Dont you think? I know it is easy to preach.

starry nights 7:46 PM  

lg I understand what you are saying.we need to make our children realize that they have to get a good education, I think we have to make them do it for themselves.because the more u compare ,more resentment sets in.Thank you for your comments.I wanted to know what other people felt about this.

Ajay 10:17 PM  

How very true. jackal n Ig hav said it all.

Prash 1:37 AM  

In a way, i think u shud be happy because u got to know what ur son's thoughts are. It is better to be said and known rather then being hidden in his heart all his life which might lead to several other problems in future. I think you make a wonderful parent..

Cibbì 1:43 AM  

When I was a child I used to be better than my bro at school. Good for me, he was compared to me and incited to do like i was doing.
We grew up, teen age, my bro was having the best on me, i was fidgety girl, always against parents thoughts. My bro was good, calm, level-headed! Obviously, it was my turn to be compared...
Now, we both have our families, our parents are loving us and understood we were different, we had to follow our path, we did two different lives but both happy and satisfied.
I think the best side of this story is that you realised you're doing something a bit wrong and you still can repair. It's never late.
Even if i was compared, i knew my parents loved me as much as they loved my bro.
I'm sure your son knows it too.
Thanks for passing in my blog. ^_^

Madhu 3:24 AM  

True, all of us go through this. Its always hard for parents see how it is for a kid. They want the best for us but it doesnt always bring the best in us. We get disillusioned and if we cant discuss these prbs with someone, it becomes a big battle. Reflects in everything we do. Worst part is fighting among siblings.

Deepti 5:22 AM  

really thot provoking...could feel wat the child loads of these feelings in my childhood!

starry nights 8:41 AM  

Ajay..Thank you

starry nights 8:47 AM  

Prash..Thanks for visiting my blog site.I am glad I read the poem, now we are more aware of his feelings and try to encourage him .

starry nights 9:29 AM  

Cibbi..Thank you for visiting my blog site.we dont compare him to his sister as much, but he himself is more focused now and wants to study and do well.

starry nights 9:32 AM  

Madhu...Thanks for visiting my blog site. Yes we dont want children growing up resenting one another.And as parents we try to do the best we can.It would have been nice to have a hands on manuel,to follow to learn how to raise kids.

starry nights 10:06 AM  

deepti..thanks for visiting my blog site. please do come again.


Hi....Let me first tell you that the poem your son wrote is fantastic..I have a bro aged the same and I dont think he could write something as clear as that...Do tell him one of your blogger colleague/friend like it!!!

Second lets ccome to comparison...It is natural to compare..In my scenario I was always compared to the neighbours who would always sit at home and not keep playing like me...I kept telling my mom tht if she had something she wanted out of me, she ought to tell it directly and if she ever compared, she would get nothing in return..I was a firm kid who knew comparison was poison..Tell you I did so much better than my neighbours in acaedimics...Also, I gre to be a very confident and independent person...My parents stopped comparing once I pronounced it to them.....

But we cant stop everyone from comparing...We still have some social figures who compare one sibling to the other and I know my bro hates it!

But, where we can directly be involved we ought to give full credit and everyperson is new and unique...As you mentioned, your son should study and you will instill tht in him not because of his sister but because it is good for him. That is a very intelligent decision and I am so very happy to know that you realised it and are now going to act...

Very practical post n I have a long comment for you!! :) :)

starry nights 1:07 PM  

Scribblez to wake up... Thanks for stopping by and please come again. Your comment was well taken.

Sarah 1:34 PM  

Starrynights:ur son wrote it very well I was always under the shadow of my big sister..To my mother, she did everything better.. i could never enter my mother's head and yell"I am not Maria, I am me, Sarah"
I didn't want to raise my kids the way i was raised. The poem by Gibran changed the way I look at things.

Kahlil Gibran

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in you dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward not tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let our bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.

starry nights 2:32 PM  

Immigrant in Canada..That was a lovely poem and so true. I like the phrase "You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you."

smiley 9:48 PM  

absolutely true and i realised it on a different occasion

jac 6:24 AM  

To little Vijay

born inside a volcano
surviving the hot lava
hurled and thrown on rocks
a crater on one side
a mountain on the other
you are not easy to be perished
nor is it easy to be ignored

Your writing a trade mark
you are a Mom's favorite

starry nights 10:58 AM  

Thank you Jac I am going to read this one to Vijay.

Sojourner 12:10 AM  

u know there is a step to take between knowing what is right and realizing it fully and turning it into actions.

Parents teach their children and forget about it themselves... possibly because there is no one bigger than them... i think this "bigger-smaller" idea can be eliminated to an extent..
u said it! : "I will instill in him the importance of an education, not because of his sister but because its good for him."

Kudos to you starry for trying to understand. I think, kids, especially teens, like to be lead by example and facts... than through advice... words don't work.. guilt does not work. [ perhaps i am just talking about myself :) ]

starry nights 6:08 PM  

Sojourner..thank you. I learned something from a poem my son had written.

Post a Comment