It is part of the Asian culture that our parents compared us to our friends or cousins when we were growing up. Example being:
“Auntie Rosie’s daughter, Hannah, she got 5 As for UPSR leh. This year you taking UPSR have to get 6 As, ok?”
While we may have naively thought the comparisons would end after we have finished studying, it never stops. It just moves on to the next phase, where they will be asking when you will earn more than the neighbour’s son.
According to Awani, this tendency towards comparisons has somehow motivated some of us to work harder, but not every kid reacts in the same way. Vice president of the Malaysian Crime Prevention Foundation, Kamal Affandi Hashim, is now urging the public to stop comparing their children to others as this is the main reason why children run away from home.
“Stop comparing your children with other kids, instead, parents need to give their children the confidence to accept themselves.”
He explained that parents nowadays like to take other children as a benchmark for their own children, whether it in sports or academics.It gives the impression that these parents will always think that other children are better than their own.
This, in turn, will make children stressed and make them feel like they are not wanted at home, which will instigate them to run away from home.
“They feel like their most trusted person does not appreciate them anymore and this will create an anger within them and make them feel that they are unworthy.”
So, to combat that, Kamal asked for parents to stop comparing them if they don’t want their children to be involved in illegal activities or any crimes.
Other than that, if their child has achieved something, then parents should motivate them and appreciate the efforts their children make. This will raise their self-confidence, which is crucial in the future.
In July, the DPM Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail has reported that there were 15,042 cases of missing children from 2011 till May of this year, and the main cause for all of these cases are misunderstandings within the family and lack of attention from their family members.
Comparing children is certainly one of the things that parents need to stop doing as it is definitely detrimental to the child’s mental health. It’s also something that they’ll carry with them for the rest of their lives.
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