Professional preparation paths lead to teaching positions in the lower primary grades; their different histories and emphasis result in potentially conflicting paradigms. We examined the viewpoints of 119 pre-service teachers who were either at the beginning or near the end of their programs in early childhood (ECED) or elementary education (ELED). They completed a survey of their beliefs about primary classroom practices. ECED students, compared to ELED students, favored practices more consistent with the constructivist nature of National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) guidelines in several areas, including teaching strategies, expectations of the children, assessment strategiThe minute we embark on our journey of parenthood, we start to compare notes with other parents. We benchmark ourselves and our experiences against those of the other parents we know.
How did you feel during your pregnancy? How big was your belly? How swollen were your ankles? And once our baby comes along, we start to benchmark his progress. When did he eat solid foods? How many hours does he sleep at night? When did he roll over? When did he crawl? When did he walk and talk? Benchmarks are good. Benchmarks allow us to determine developmental milestones and enable us to keep track of our child’s physical, mental and emotional development.
It allows us to have those all important conversations with our doctors if our child is not meeting his developmental benchmarks. Early intervention has proven to be crucial in children with developmental delays.
The problem arises when instead of observing our child’s individual growth and progress and seeking help if needed, we compare our child to either his siblings or other children and judge him for being different. Why can’t you write faster? Why can’t you be neater? Look at Mrs. Sharma’s son.
He studies everyday and gets 90 per cent and above in all his subjects. We all fall into the comparison trapes, and teacher- and child-directed activities.Theodore Roosevelt said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.”
By comparing our child to his siblings or other children, we run the risk of losing sight of what makes our child special and unique. All of us are different in our own way. We have different skills, interests, personality traits and abilities that make us who we are. And the same applies to our children. By constantly comparing our child to other children, we increase his anxiety and stress levels. Children want to please their parents and not being able to do so can make them anxious. It can lower their self-esteem when they start to believe that everybody is better than they are. They begin to feel incapable of being good at anything. They may start to shy away from social situations and are hesitant to participate in groups. They may feel that nothing they do is good enough and as a result, they may stop trying at all. It may foster resentment towards their parents, siblings or other children they are being compared to. So, what can we as parents do about it?
Be aware. Sometimes, we speak before we think. When we are trying to get our child to do something, the most natural thing in the world is to say, why can’t you be more like your classmate? Be conscious of every time you compare your child to another child. Think about what you’re saying and why you’re saying it.
What is the habit that you would like to change? Why does your child find it difficult? Does he lack a skill set to perform the task? By taking the time to think about it, we remain in the observational zone and do not move immediately into the judgmental zone.
Use benchmarks only to track your child’s individual growth and progress. “A few months ago, you were barely able to read a whole sentence. Now, you’re able to read a full paragraph. That’s good progress.” Don’t say, “At your age, your brother was reading the whole book.”
It negates the efforts that he has put in. Focus on tracking only his achievements and not in comparison to anybody else. Every child develops at a different pace. It doesn’t mean that they are not progressing at all.
In school, a child’s progress is still marked in comparison to the rest of the class. Children are still ranked in terms of test scores. It shouldn’t matter what marks their classmate has gotten in their exams. Has your child understood the concept? Has he been able to communicate his understanding effectively? Has he improved from the last test?
Talk to your child about his areas of improvement. Collaborate and make plans to help build and improve upon his skills sets.
“I notice that you are finding math addition sums a little difficult. What do you think we can do to help make it easier?” By communicating with your child, you create a safe zone for him to come to you with his problems. It helps him develop a problem solving approach as he realities that there is always a way forward.
At, Gajera Vidhyabhavan Sachin our educators tries to explain the parent's of our students that do not compare your child's ability with other child. All children have different abilities, skills or talents and we need to encourage and motivate them instead of comparing thier abilities with other.