Sunday, April 28, 2013


In the book "Siblings without rivalry" is a whole chapter about comparison. How much effect it can have when you compare one sibling to the other. I thought about it and was happy that (so far) I am not comparing those two. And that I couldn't really imagine doing so. Ever. Until one day I heard myself say to Mona: "Oh you like that left thumb? Just like your brother." Bam.

Just like that I had compared my children. Not in a bad way. But this is how it starts right? Especially with small children who constantly achieve some milestones. The second one will always be compared to the first. The first tooth, the first smile, the first steps. I constantly compare the two regarding sleeping  or nursing habits. Not in front of each other. But in front of family and friends when they raise the topic. And of course Mona is around most of the time. She listens.

Is that bad? I don't think it's bad to tell one child when he did his first steps in comparison to when the other one did. As long as it remains a story you tell. Not more. Can you do that?
So why not stop the whole thing right there. And start seeing your children as completely different personalities? Which they are !

I like those little challenges in life. Stopping to smoke. Stopping to praise. Remembering to smile more often. To check on my body tension every now and then. So my new challenge is to NOT compare my children to each other.

It's not easy in a world that is based on competition. But what makes our children stand up to it is not lesson after lesson in comparison by weighing one against the other. It's a lifelong lesson in supporting them in whatever they do and what lies within them. Loving them for who they are. Unconditionally.

“Comparison is the death of joy.” (Mark Twain)

Today one of the kindergarden teachers looked at Mona sleeping in her pram and said: "She is really calm." I nodded and said "Yeah she is just like that." and was about to add: "Leander was the same at that age." Instead I just smiled and didn't say anything else.