If you’re the parent of a youth hockey player, then take a minute to be honest with yourself…really honest. Do you ever compare your child to other players on the team or even to other players on other teams? Don’t answer too quickly because you could be doing it without even realizing it. If you ever think things like, “Why can’t my kid be like so and so,?” or, “I have the same coach, so why isn’t my kid performing like so and so?,” you have fallen into a dangerous trap known as the comparison trap.
This trap is truly toxic, both to you and your child. Even if you don’t voice your feelings, they tend to come out in unintended ways, such as the things you say to your child or the way that you treat him without thinking about it. And, if your kid gets full wind of the fact that he’s being compared to and judged against another child, that can spell some serious trouble and even psychological damage.
Another big problem with comparison, as if the damage it can do to your little one isn’t enough, is that it creates a lot of animosity, resentment, and envy. When you are constantly comparing your child to other children, you start to build up “secret hate” and bad feelings toward other children, which is a very ugly thing.
To avoid having this happen, focus ONLY on your child and not on any other. Don’t allow yourself to berate other children, to make comparative statements, or really to do anything except focus on your child and his own positives.
If you can do this- focus on and praise the positives without comparing or bringing up negatives- your child should flourish in wonderful ways, which is a great pay-off for your positive attitude.