I have a 5-year-old child. Is it a good idea to compare my child with another child with regards to scoring marks or how they perform an activity?

I think that comparing my child with another child will give him/her a bad impression of the other child and lead to possessive thoughts about that other child.

Can anyone explain their opinion to me?

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    Hi an welcome to Parenting.SE! Please take the tour and read the help center. Your question is currently primarily opinion-based and lacks many details, like how old your child is, what your goal is, what you have tried. Commented Jul 2, 2019 at 12:58
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    I read Jordan Petersons book, and he gives a compelling case for not comparing with others, but comparing with yourself. He appeals to inattentional blindness, when you are looking for one thing then what you aren't looking for is invisible to you (apa.org/monitor/apr01/blindness) even if it is conspicuous or bizarre. In my personal opinion it might be healthier and more balanced to find and use fair but capable metrics and rubrics to compare today with yesterday, and not her versus any joneses. Commented Jul 3, 2019 at 13:43
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    @EngrStudent - That sounds like a good answer! Would you care to post it as such? Thanks for the info and consideration. Commented Jul 4, 2019 at 15:05

3 Answers 3


Growing up as a child, I was compared quite a bit. I also witnessed my siblings being compared too. It was and still is not a good feeling to be compared.

And speaking generally, most comparisons are simply not fair. Now unless two kids are surrounded by the same circumstances, and go through life in the same way... every comparison would be unfair.

For instance, your kid's grades are not as good as the next kid's. Before you compare, ask yourself these questions...

  • Does your kid and other kid study for the same duration of time?
  • Do they both remain focused for the same duration during their study time?
  • Do they study in the same kind of environment, whether conducive or not?
  • Do they attend the same school?
  • Are they being taught by the same teacher?
  • Do they learn in the same way?
  • Do they understand things in the same way?
  • Do they have the same likeness and passion for that subject?
  • Do they get same amount of adequate rest after school?
  • Are they fed in the same way and with the same quality of food?

Now unless your answer to these kind of questions are a "yes" all the way, then every comparison will be totally unfair. It is that simple, if you ask me.

If they go through life in the same way, but produce different outcomes, then the comparison will be fair. But if they go through life differently, it makes no sense to expect the same outcome from both children.

There are many variables that will affect anyone's performance, child or adult. And unless the both parties being compared are surrounded by the same circumstances, it would be best not to compare.

Think about it.


This is a little based on personal opinion, but comparing someone to another and pointing it out to him is always bad.

Here is an article I found a while ago that explains this perfectly : https://thoughtcatalog.com/bekah-pollard/2014/04/we-need-to-completely-stop-comparing-each-other-people-are-supposed-to-be-different/

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    Hi and welcome to Parenting.SE! Please take the tour and read the help center. Can you summarize the content of the article in your post, so it's not a link-only answer? Commented Jul 8, 2019 at 18:04

Note: Since your child is a son or a daughter is not clear, for the purpose of ease in reading the answer, it has been assumed that the child is a son.

No, not at all!

Your child is unique and so is every person in this world. This is the miracle of Nature! Everyone has some specialities and some weaknesses too. At this tender age of five, more than scoring good marks or performing outstandingly in an activity, what your child needs is a firm foundation to grow into an outstanding human being, adorned with the best of virtues and good special qualities. And to make this happen is our prime duty as a parent, right now!

For this, first and foremost, you may accept your child the way he is and behave with him very normally. Have you ever seen how water readily accepts the stones no matter how dirty they are; and without comparing or blaming them to be dirty, in course of time, how it makes them clean and sparkling? Everything that comes in contact with water gets cleaned and becomes pure! This is the speciality of water. And parents and teachers have a similar role, like that of water, to be played in the child’s life.

Try to be not only his parent but also his best friend, his Guru, his guide and his hope as well... You are right; in this growing age, if he is unable to deal with the comparative statements said by you, he could end up accumulating the dirt of negative thoughts for the children around him and he could even build a wall around him and prefer to live inside that wall only. Those who are his friends today, we don’t want them to turn into rivals tomorrow, isn’t it? So, let’s help him blossom. Keep him free from all kinds of undue pressures. That is when his talent and capability will naturally flourish. He will happily socialize and will become a responsible and learned person too. And as he grows up a little, then groom him in a manner that he can ignore people’s taunts with ease and comfort and accept people’s criticism with love and respect. Cultivate him to grow so strong that adverse comments do not bog him down nor do they affect his confidence at all. Prepare your child such that he can remain unaffected by people’s opinions.

Or else how will he reach his determined destination?! One who loses confidence when compared with others, or gets swayed by people’s opinions, neither will the goal remain his nor the journey! So let’s teach him to listen to his/her own inner voice amidst the outer chaos, and in every circumstance remain riveted to the goal of growing into a better human being and scaling to better and better heights!!

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