Why Teenagers Shouldn’t Compare Themselves to Their Parents?
It is a very natural behavior for our teenagers to compare themselves to parents. Parents act as a guide for adolescent in new situations. This is true and fruitful for happy families. But unfortunately, when neglected or abused teenagers grow up to be parents, they try to act completely opposite of what their parents acted. They constantly compare themselves to their parents’ and try to be better for their children than their parents. While we all learn from our parents’ experience and mistakes, and try not to repeat them on our own children, but comparison is many a times harmful than we think.
When adult kids compare themselves to parents, they become overly indulged in the competition and as a result it is their child’s needs that suffer. These parents do not think about the needs of their children. Rather they constantly try to be better than their parents. For example, a child who did not spend much time with his father in his childhood because of any reason, will try hard to spend time to his own child. Because he led a deprived life, he certainly doesn’t want his child to suffer the way he did. But is he right in doing so? He is right only if he does not compare himself to his own dad. When he gets into comparison, his only motive is to give more time to his son than his father gave to him. He is only doing it because he wants to be better than his father and not because his child needs that time. Instead of letting your child decide how much he wants you, your motives are guided by comparisons to your past.
Children who are raised by abusive parents, often lose sight of their own needs and desires. All they do is assess the behavior of their parents. What they will do next? How will they react to a certain situation? What will make dad happy? What will make mom drink? Children raised in such circumstances are unaware of the fact that they too have needs. Their desires are sacrificed because of the large focus on the parent. These children when grow up and become parents do not want their children to suffer the fate they themselves did. As a result, they strive to make their own behavior different to their parents and forget about the needs of their children.
The best approach is to learn through feedback. Look at how your children respond to your actions and then alter your behavior according to their needs and wishes. There is no manual for parenting, you can only learn through experience and the reaction of your kids. If your kids want more time from you than you give them, then make an effort to be available for them. Regardless of the fact that you already are giving them more time than your dad. These simple changes in your parental approach will give your children a childhood you always dreamed of.
Sadly, the parents who draw comparisons with their own parents in the hope of being better than them, eventually become like them. Since their focus is only to better than their parents. They do not understand that they have to become better for their children as well. When they compromise the needs of their children, they unknowingly are giving their children the same miserable life they had. The constant comparison leads to the buildup of similarities. And children always remember the incidences of abuse and neglect more than the parents. It is therefore better to take help from the feedback of your children and stop making comparisons constantly.