How do I stop my child from comparing himself to others?

I have a mum who’s written in asking about her son. She says her son is always comparing himself to his best friend, and slowly and steadily, she feels that her son is losing his self-esteem and self-confidence. What can she do as a mother?

You know when children are young, how they run, how they laugh, how they play, how they dress up, its all so unique, and they are so uninhibited that you ask them to sing a song, they just stand up and sing a song so innocently. However, as they grow older I think they hear adults and sometimes it’s just natural for them to compare, and they not only compare themselves to their friends, they also sometimes compare themselves unknowingly to even their siblings.

And it can be detrimental in two ways. In the first way, a child can develop a superiority complex. How’s that, because I’m better at drawing, I’m better at running, I’m better at playing sport, I’m smarter in maths. So that makes him or her develop a superiority complex. On the other hand, a child might feel oh, he is better than me, she is better than me in maths, he’s better then me in running. And what happens to him? His self-esteem and confidence levels tend to get eroded and what he develops is an inferiority complex where he is always failing to see his strength, and slowly and steadily getting into self-criticism and self doubt.

So what can you do as a mother? Since we are headed into the Christmas holidays, children are going to have a lot of spare time. Maybe you’re going to spend quality time back home with your loved ones with family. Ask your children to do a little mini project. Interview five adults; let them be a banker, to an engineer to an artist to a doctor. See to it that the five adults have different professions. And ask your children to ask them four or five questions about what these individuals like to do. What are their passions? What do you think you are good at? Find out more about these individuals and get your children to discover what are each and everyone of their unique talents, and then they will realize that for us to function in a world, we all need to have our unique strengths. How would it be if everyone in the universe was a fabulous doctor? There wouldn’t be any patients. What if everyone on this planet was a great artist? There would not be any person to enjoy the art. So we definitely need different people on this planet don’t we?

And the last thing is, because its Christmas holidays, and time, get your child to do a project about himself or herself, make a nice poster about what are his or hers unique talents. What do they enjoy and what are THEIR unique talents. And let him or her spend sometime with themselves to discover what are his unique talents, his unique strengths, and then create a gorgeous poster which he or she can put up their room and then they no longer need to compare themselves to anybody else, because they are going to have a poster with their unique talents. I hope that will help your son to rid himself of this comparison habit.

If you have any further questions, do remember to email me at or Facebook Page: Athena Coaching Solutions or call me on (+971) 056-13399033.