An encouraging alternative to the parent competition…


If you have children, let alone teenagers, you have automatically entered the parent competition and sometimes you find yourself becoming a competitor even though you never chose to play.

If I chat to other parents who proactively promote the attributes of their children, then I can’t seem to help it, I enter this competition without ever wanting to be a participant and the process usually escalates as the conversation develops. 

There is a difference between being proud of achievements and being smug.  As most parents would tell you, often it isn’t what is said it is how the message is communicated.

Each child is unique with their own identity, individual strengths and weaknesses, or rather areas for improvement…!  It is about celebrating individual achievements rather than undermining you and your child’s confidence by comparing them to others.

As parents, living with guilt is part of the package, so listening to other parents’ children’s achievements simply aggravates this underlying guilt and we can all live without it.

However, there is an alternative which focuses on encouraging other parents of teenagers.  I have a friend who is particularly good at this, whenever I speak to her she highlights something positive about one of my children and it is so refreshing. 

Sometimes we need to see the bigger picture and appreciate what we have and perhaps avoid even entering parent competition.

About Ruth James

I am a mum with 3 daughters who runs workshops for parents of teenagers. In 2019 I launched the Taunton Parenting Cafe and will be developing new and innovative workshops to support and encourage parents of children from 9yrs+
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