The Circle of Comparison - How can this end?
The circle of comparison - Who can end it and How?
Usually, with friends' children, cousins' children whose infancy we remember.
Oh, he was like that, why is she like this?
Oh, he slept through the night, why is she not sleeping?
Oh, she took her feed promptly, why is he not taking?
Oh, she cried so much, this guy is not crying.
Oh, he never cried at all, this girl is always crying.
My sister's son crawled already when he was this age, she doesn't seem to yet.
My friend's daughter already acknowledges with her coos, he doesn't do that yet.
That baby eats so well, why does he not open his mouth at all?
That baby is already clapping hands, playing, responding so well, why does she not do it yet?
He already runs, why does she not even make an attempt?
He already talks words, why does he not do?
She already sings ABC song, when will he sing?
He already counts up to 20, when will she say?
He cooperates so well, why does she not?
She already draws a circle, why doesn't he?
She already speaks sentences, why doesn't he?
He already sings rhymes, why doesn't she?
He already writes some alphabets, why doesn't she?
She already does cursive writing, when will he?
She already reads words, when will he?
He already adds numbers, when will she?
She already dances so well, when will he?
He already sings so well, when will she?
She already recites the multiplication tables, when will he?
He already reads so much, when will she?
She already writes sentences, when will he?
How long? How far? How mean?
Adding to comparison among children, there will be a comparison among schools:
That school already teaches cursive writing at 5 yrs.
That school teaches addition at 4 yrs.
That school teaches sight words at 4 yrs.
This is an unending story. Is there an end to this? Who is the planner? Who is the executor of that plan? Does the planner focus on the child or the comparison circle? Is the child internally motivated to accomplish tasks or just does it for the sticky stars and other rewards?
A sticky star for not crying in the playschool
A sticky star for singing the rhyme during the preschool
A sticky star for finishing the writing practice in kindergarten.
A sticky star for finishing the meal fast.
A sticky star for not troubling the teachers.
A sticky star for completing the addition.
A sticky star for ......................
A sticky star for being what the adult expected her to be, doing what the adult had asked her to do while manipulating her own thoughts in order to conform, swallowing her emotions so as to be 'in order'. Does this do more harm than good to the child? If there is any good, I can only think of better peace for the adult for getting things done at the expense of the child dismissing her emotions, not learning from her behaviour and manipulating her self for the reward of getting a "sticky star".
Is there really an end to this?
YES. Indeed, there is.
There can be an end to this comparison circle in the adult's mind, in the parent's thought and thus end this battle of emotions between child and adult.
Can the child be the focus for her own learning without comparing what the other children are doing?
Can the child lead her learning with facilitation from an adult as needed?
Can the child pick her own challenges and internally motivated to accomplish tasks?
Can the child feel and realise the joy of slow eating and swallowing the food while showing gratitude towards her plate? Group prayer and then giving out sticky stars for eating fast cannot replace this!!!
Can there be a better connection between the adult and the child instead of gathering news by the adult from the society around?
Can the child be the focus?
This is not a post to generalise all the adults, all the teachers or even all the schools.
This post need not and will not affect you if:
- As a parent or a teacher, you do have a reward system in place and you justify yourself genuinely. Remember, you are the best judge as long as you are connected to the child and listen to your own intuition.
- You do not have any reward system and you know what you are doing is right
- Your school absolutely does not have any reward system to get the students to complete tasks
- You as a parent or as a teacher are child-centric in the true sense, not theoretically but practically keeping the kids as they are, internally motivated with no external rewards to make do stuff
In all other cases, if you have realised and looking for an alternative or if you make do without realising the real impact of our actions on the little champs, I hope this post helps you to look beyond what you see, think beyond the completion of task in front of you and connect better with the little child staring in front of you.
(All images copied from Google)