Being a parent isn’t an easy job, especially if you try becoming a competitive parent. Parenthood is not a race because every parent and child are different. If you compare your parent-child relationship with someone else’s, you are going to be nothing but disappointed. It is human nature to compete because we all grow up hearing that only the fittest survive. Take that quote and throw in the trash bin.
Whenever you start feeling competitive just remind that it isn’t healthy for you or your family. Remember that every child is different and hits milestones differently, so why compete?
Here are five practical ways to stop being a competitive parent:
Talk it out with your spouse
Being a competitive parent doesn’t help. You don’t have to feel guilty that you compared your child to your friend’s or compared your parenting to theirs. Everyone goes through it and either decide to stick to being competitive or stop doing that.
Talk to your spouse about it because they’ll understand. Parenting is stressful, and the two of you can plan a small vacation for your family somewhere nearby. Get your mind refreshed and started new.
Interact with like-minded parents
You will have friends who oppose the idea of competitive parenting as well. If you can’t find anyone around you, you can join an online forum where you can discuss competitive parenting and help other parents recover.
If you feel that another parent is finding ways to stop being competitive reply on the thread and boost her confidence. Tell how you felt when you were in her situation and that you did nothing but stop comparing and relax.
Remember that your child’s milestones have nothing to do with your parenting
Every child grows up differently, and it has nothing to do with your parenting. Don’t feel sad or depressed if your child hasn’t reached a milestone that your friend’s child did. Some children like to take their very own time.
Don’t follow all those parenting and milestones books either. Just focus on being a good parent and enjoy the moments with your little one because they’ll leave for college even before you know.
Write about it
The easiest way to let go of your feelings is writing about it. You don’t need to post it online or anything, but keep it to yourself. Every time you feel competitive or low, something you want to let out, write it down.
It might even inspire you to start a blog that helps other parents like you. Writing is one of best therapies. To make yourself feel even better, after writing tear the page into tiny pieces and don’t think about it ever after.
Don’t start the competition yourself
One of the best ways to stop being a competitive parent is not starting the competition in the first place. Every parent brags about their child but don’t be that parent who brags ahead of what the other person is saying.
Let the person complete. You can brag some other day. When you let the other person feel that they’ve won, it is you who is winning by being the understanding one. You don’t want some random competition which doesn’t make sense utterly to ruin your friendship.
Competition is a real struggle every parent goes through. Don’t be scared to accept that and move forward.