What do I say to another Mom who seems to compare her daughter with my daughter on everything? I have a problem dealing with competitive moms. Both girls are 4 and in preschool together. Help. Rose – Birmingham, AL
Women hold their ‘motherhood’ very close and very personal. Our children are loved so deeply with a love none of us could have expected before their birth. So, for another mom to compare her child to yours in a snooty way is not right, however, it happens. Each child is amazing and wonderful. However, some parents get their self-importance from their children. If her daughter is reading by 4 then this mother feels superior to others. Sadly, this mother will probably continue this behavior throughout her child’s life. Just say something like, “Aren’t children just amazing, whoever they are?” She probably will get the point. And as you progress through the years, use that saying as a mantra, because there will be other parents always wanting to compete to make themselves feel better about their parenting. Just don’t hang around people who make you feel less you are, hang around people who lift you up! Megan – 30 something
I’d try to understand what her motive is. Is she seeing if her daughter ‘stacks up’ and is on target? Does it sound competitive? Is she looking for common ground with you? For me, my response to the comparisons would be framed with her assumed motive in mind. (Supportive, diffusing, affinitive…) Regardless of motive, I’d strive to be supportive of her daughter’s achievements and milestones, and at the same time stress that there is such a wide range at age 4, that there are bound to be as many differences as similarities. I’d also try to find ways to genuinely compliment her daughter in a non comparative way – modeling that behavior. 🙂 Good luck on this! Amy B. – 40 something
This was particularly disturbing to me because as a Scandinavian-I’m not prone to bragging about my kids. In fact, I find it down right hard to do!
So how about you try this next time she starts bragging; “Wow girls this age are just so amazing. I love how they are developing so many skills. Each one of them learns so much each day!”
Perhaps this will give this mom an idea that all kids are amazing at 4! Ann – 50 something
Nothing you say will stop her from comparing your two children. She does it to satisfy her own needs and to convince herself she is an exceptional mother with an exceptional child. So, all you can do is change how you react to it. If she is the type to make bragging statements, just agree with her. Susie is the smartest child in the world! If she is the type that asks you questions like, “Does your Becky read yet?” she is just trying to get you to admit your child has inadequacies. Don’t fall into that trap. Just answer yes or no (because she probably already knows anyway) and let it go. I’d stay away from her like the plague and seek out other mothers who aren’t as competitive or insecure. Marge – 70 something