Comparison is the Thief of Joy ⋆ Redefine Normal with Wendy Andersen | Redefine Normal with Families with a Special Needs Child

Comparison is the Thief of Joy

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Comparison is a Thief 

I believe that comparison is a thief of joy. ‘Don’t you want to know how your child compares to other kids?’ Me: No. I really don’t care. Ask me an honest question and get an honest answer. Other children are NOT my child. Period. End of sentence.

Why do we need to compare?

Pinterest. joy.

What is comparison the killer of?

Thieves of Joy

 When you have a child who hasn’t met milestones really, you get a little used to not checking the boxes of ‘normal development’ or ‘on time.’ A child develops when they develop, and all I can do is support them with where they are and what the goal is. If you compare my child to another child there’s no magic wand that can be waved to bridge the gap – so just don’t do it. The entirety of the conversation was about support in school and taking data to the ‘typical developing’ child and then comparing data to determine supports that are needed. But those children aren’t my child. You are not comparing apples to apples when you do that. On any given day it’s more like comparing oranges to pasta….you just can’t and shouldn’t compare the two. See the child where THEY are. 

Stop comparing children.

 There’s no benefit, and I could even argue that the majority of the time more harm than good happens. Can we start asking how the child is doing today compared to yesterday, last week, last month, or last year and determine the level of support that is needed to be based upon THEIR needs and no one else. We advocate for all children, but when it comes to comparison, we don’t care. The other kids are not my children. How others act does not have a bearing on how my kid acts. I don’t want my kid or any of my children to be compared to anybody else. It does not matter when he hits these milestones. It is just something we are helping work toward and how can support him to reach these milestones at some point. 

Comparison is the thief of joy

Ask: “What’s best for your child?”

We work really hard to not compare our kids to their friends and cousins. Our children are where they are, and we are not going to compare them to others. But…

 The school system is set up for comparison. 

So when the school systems are like that it is very difficult to find a way around it or to even just shift your mindset. We have found that you can use it when it is beneficial or to help you know where your kid is at, but it was never about comparison. But then it will probably get depressing if you are walking around comparing your kids to others or when you have to fill out all those forms about what milestones they have hit. It is easy to take those things to heart because you start thinking about where your child is not and where other children are.


 With comparison comes judgment.

So, you can choose not to care about comparing our children to others in their class. We do not see any benefit. It does not serve us or our children well. When we need to measure progress, we do but not at the expense of comparing. 

Comparison is the thief of joy. 

Pinterest.Comparison is the Thief of Joy

Along with comparison almost always comes judgment. 

Comparison is the thief of joy meaning that having compassion for the sake of data is not the problem. It is the comparison that comes along with it and the disempowering questions we start to ask. We had to adopt the attitude: We are not going to judge. Then, we ask the empowering questions. What are those empowering questions? Those questions are what is going to move us out of judgment and into a place of growth, expansion, and positivity. When we live in the gap from where we are to where we think we ought to be, it is a miserable place to be. When we recognize where we have been, what we have done, and where we are going – that’s information that is useful on how to make decisions. I try to shut down that conversation of comparison and switch it over to what is best for my son. What are we working towards, and it is ok to get forthwith and direct.

Comparison is the Thief of Joy quote

Comparison is the thief of joy Theodore Roosevelt is often the one who gets recognized for saying this, but when you look at it closer in research many say Mark Twain or Dr. Ray Cummings was the one who originally said it. 


We don’t play the compare game, click here to learn why.


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