Do Not compare your kids too much with others

Why you shouldn’t compare your children to their siblings

Thuy Yau
Published: October 14, 2014 – 3:00PM

How to encourage siblings to be friends
Siblings of sick kids suffer too
I was 24 years old when I finally learned to embrace my individuality. I spent most of my childhood hating who I was and wishing I was different. My low self-esteem and self-confidence would often be triggered by comments made by my mother. When I was in high school, if I was doing well at English, it didn’t matter to her because I was struggling in Chemistry and Physics – subjects my older brother excelled in. When I was accepted into university to study Psychology, she didn’t bat an eyelid because I had failed to secure a spot in my brother’s university. What hurt me the most was when she would yell at me, “Why can’t you be more like your sister?”

At the time, I felt that I’d failed as a daughter, as a person, that I wasn’t good enough, that I wasn’t loved for who I was. The comparisons that she made between my three siblings and I not only hurt the relationship that I had with my mother. But they undermined the relationship that I had with my brothers and sister. Even now, our relationship as adults is strained because we never knew how it felt to really be there for each other as siblings.

When parents compare their children to others

As human beings, it’s natural to want to compare our own progress with the progress of others. By the same token, parents often feel compelled to compare their own children to other people’s children.

But there’s nothing wrong with engaging in a bit of comparison, according to parenting expert, Dr. Justin Coulson.

He explains, “We like to see how we’re going as parents, and how our kids are going in their development … It’s an entirely normal and natural thing to do.”

Clinical psychologist, Sally-Anne McCormack, says that comparing our children to others can even be incredibly beneficial at times.

“Some comparisons are quite helpful. They help us notice whether our children are reaching all the appropriate developmental milestones,” says McCormack.

However, it’s our intentions behind these comparisons that are really the crux of the matter.

“A minor degree of comparison is fine because that’s normal, human behaviour. As long as it’s observational as opposed to judgemental.”

“But if parents are constantly doing it – looking unfavourably either at other people’s children, or their own children – then that’s damaging for everyone,” says McCormack.

When parents compare siblings

Dr. Coulson says that parents often compare siblings as well, which isn’t always a bad thing.

We can evaluate their progress, compare their strengths and weaknesses, and look at the remarkable way that we are all so different.

“It can be fun to look at how tall a child was at one age versus the sibling,” says Dr. Coulson.

“But when the comparison starts to become laden with judgements and evaluations that make kids feel superior or inferior to their sibling, we start to get into dangerous territory.”

McCormack says that in pitting siblings against each other, we might overlook one child’s athletic ability because we’re too focused on the other’s academic skills.

“We forget to celebrate differences. We place our values on our children and expect them to live up to certain expectations, but these might not be reasonable or possible for our children.”

The effects of sibling comparison

Children who are constantly told, “Why can’t you be like your brother/sister?”, are likely to end up basing their self-worth on how they compare with others.

“It teaches them that life is about competition and comparison, and they will always feel that they can never be enough – because there’s always someone better than they are,” says Dr. Coulson.

“It undermines sense of worth, it reduces motivation, it increases anxiety, and it leads to sub-par outcomes on a range of measures.”

McCormack says it’s very important to be mindful of our words.

“Our children value our opinions. Before they have their own little inner voice, they hear ours. If ours keeps saying, ‘You’re not as good as your brother/sister’, then that will be the self-talk that they grow up with – ‘I’m never going to be as good as my brother/sister’.”

When you compare your child to their sibling, what they actually hear you say is, “You’re not good enough. You’re a failure,” says McCormack.

Embracing your child’s individuality

McCormack says that rather than focusing on what our children can’t do, we should be focusing on what they can.

“Every single person is different. Focus on the positives and strengths in every single child, rather than looking at what they’re missing,” says McCormack.

“Learn more about whatever strengths they show – whether it’s sporting ability or even social skills. Whatever their strength is, do what you can to promote that.”

“So, if you have a a child who is incredibly social, for example, enrol them in acting classes.”

“Note down their strengths and then find avenues for them to express it in some type of activity.”

Dr. Coulson adds that we should always look for ways to acknowledge our children’s unique contributions to the family.

“This will make them feel loved unconditionally for being who they are, regardless of what their sibling can do. They will be recognised for their individual strengths and capacities. They will become resilient, confident, and happy.”

McCormack reminds parents to reflect back on what they truly want for their children.

“Most parents want happy, healthy children. The only way to do that is to make them feel valued, special and important.”

“That can only happen if we embrace and value their positive qualities.”

Thuy Yau is a freelance writer and mother of three. She is incredibly passionate about raising happy and confident children. You can follow Thuy on Twitter, join her on Facebook, or read her personal development blog at Inside a Mother’s Mind.

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Pakistan a Toxic Jelly State

Re-inventing the “toxic jelly state”

Islam in government and as a political philosophy has proved its inadequacy from the beginning and is hardly the model worth pursuing. Many Islamic societies continue to live in despotism, exploitation and insecurity

Sindh’s latest polio victim received vaccine only once

Sindh’s latest polio victim received vaccine only once

Published about 9 hours ago

BILAL in the lap of his uncle in their home on Wednesday.—White Star
BILAL in the lap of his uncle in their home on Wednesday.—White Star

KARACHI: Two-year-old Hazrat Bilal looks at people around him with tired eyes. His uncle, Abdul Razzaq, tries to get his attention by calling his name but Bilal looks up for a few seconds before looking away.

Presently residing in Liaquatabad’s Khamosh Colony, Bilal is one of the five children to have contracted polio recently.

This is the 14th case in Karachi and 15th across Sindh making its way among the 171 polio cases in Pakistan at present.

Know more: Sindh records year’s 15th polio case

On Wednesday afternoon, the family sat in one of the empty rooms inside their home to discuss what went wrong with Bilal. As his father, Khayal Mohammad, was busy at the roadside restaurant owned by the family, his uncle Abdul Razzaq spoke on his behalf. “He was really ill a month back,” he says as he tries to swaddle Bilal’s lower body with a wrapping sheet. “Our family doctor at the nearest Imam Zainul Abideen Hospital thought that he had got a meningitis fever as his neck arms and upper body had no movement in them. We shifted him to the National Institute of Child Health immediately soon after the doctor asked us to.”

The child had diarrhoea and fever for almost a week before being taken to the hospital, the family says. On being taken to the NICH, the doctors there asked them to wait for a ventilator to be available that alarmed the parents. “He almost made it to the ventilator but was declared ‘out of danger’ after five hours. He was admitted in the hospital for 13 days after that,” says Razzaq.

During this time, Bilal couldn’t sit properly. His arms were also paralysed for a while until he started making some improvement but he is in a much better condition now.

His mother Zakiya (last name not given), a 25-year-old woman, however, says that he still cries at night. “He wakes up in the middle of the night and cries till morning, and then there are times that he doesn’t wake up at all,” she says. Sitting in her lap, the child’s left foot is motionless until someone from the family touches it to make a point, making him wince in pain. Bilal is the youngest among Zakiya’s four children. She says, “I gave birth to him at home, back in my village in Tor Ghar tehsil of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. There are no hospitals over there so he didn’t get immunised. It was only when I brought him to Karachi as a one-year-old that he got polio drops from a polio team that had come to our doorstep.” The mother said that was the only time the child had received the polio vaccine until he got seriously sick a month back.

The home, where12 more children apart from Bilal live, houses five families, says Razzaq. “We are very scared for them now. Their immunisation was done at a private hospital after we saw what happened to Bilal. We have never refused immunisation by the polio teams. What happened to Bilal was maybe because of the sheer laziness on our part, I think. We thought nothing would happen to him,” he adds.

The patriarch of the family, Gohar Ali Khan, moved to Karachi in the 1950s from Tor Ghar tehsil. He owns a number of restaurants in Liaquatabad, managed and supervised by his five sons. Sitting in the same room as his family, he quietly eats his lunch at the time of the interview, remarking later, “There were no immunisations during our times, and yet I survived for so long.” On hearing that, his son says that he has had a bypass surgery and is a sugar patient on medicines at the moment.

The family has been waiting for Bilal’s reports which were sent to the National Institute of Health in Islamabad for further verification, making him, what senior paediatrician Dr Ghaffar Billo calls, a “suspected polio case”.

Dr Billo says a polio case can be further verified after sending it to the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia for gene identification, if the parents want to be completely sure. “But since we don’t have the basic practice of taking children for vaccinations, going for an advanced option like this becomes a luxury availed by only a few people,” he adds.

Immunisation coverage

About the current crop of cases specifically in Sindh, Dr Billo says the routine immunisation programme till the 1980s “was the best period for Pakistan as it covered 95 per cent of the children. The World Health Organisation started a national immunisation programme worldwide in 1988 but in Pakistan it kicked off in 1994. That period in between, where there was no activity with regard to polio, left the space for the virus to take its hold.”

Also, since then, he explains, “The population coverage for polio remained between 65 and 75 per cent; whereas it should be 95 per cent otherwise it won’t have the desired impact. So in a way, 35 per cent of our population has always remained uncovered with regard to polio immunisation, be it Fata, KP, Quetta or Qilla Abdullah in Balochistan.”

In Bilal’s case, he says, “One dose a year won’t make a difference, as it takes at least seven to 10 doses, with proper monthly gaps, to ensure immunity.”

Executive District Officer for Health Dr Zafar Aijaz says there are around “325 centres for polio immunisation across Karachi. And we, on our part, have been requesting the families to come to these centres to get their children immunised.”

He insists that it’s not only a job of government hospitals “but community at large to ensure there is awareness about polio”.

Like Dr Billo, Dr Aijaz also says that routine immunisation “is the main concern of our department. If routine immunisation is properly sustained and followed it will help us fight other diseases too.”

However, Dr Billo says that unless and until, “there’s proper reportage of cases and a genuine utilisation of funds we’ll be faced with same problems over and over again.”

Published in Dawn, September 25th, 2014

Pakistani FB conversation

aoa. Thanks. I have looked into your page.

 may I ask you a personal question, as I do not know much about you?


Seen Sun 10:06

‘Bamboo ceiling’ blocking Asian Australians, says commissioner

‘Bamboo ceiling’ blocking Asian Australians, says commissioner

Dan Harrison
Published: July 11, 2014 – 6:01AM

A ”bamboo ceiling” is preventing Asian Australians from taking their share of leadership positions, the Race Discrimination Commissioner, Tim Soutphommasane, has suggested.

In a speech delivered in Perth on Thursday, Dr Soutphommasane said while children of Australians of migrant backgrounds outperformed the children of Australian-born parents in education and employment, the nation’s cultural diversity was not represented in positions of leadership.

”Equality of opportunity isn’t enjoyed in equal measure in all spheres,” Dr Soutphommasane said. ”Our efforts in opening the doors of power to all who knock are more questionable.”

Dr Soutphommasane said while nearly half of all Australians were either born overseas or had a parent who was born overseas, and about one in 10 Australians had an Asian background, only a handful of members of Federal Parliament had non-European ancestry, and less than 2 per cent had Asian ancestry. Of 83 secretaries and deputy secretaries of federal government departments, only three had Asian origins.

Asian Australian were also badly underrepresented among the management ranks of business and executive positions at leading universities, he said.

Dr Soutphommasane acknowledged other business leaders of non-Asian backgrounds, such as Irish-born Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce and former Telstra boss Sol Trujillo, who has Mexican ancestry, had also been the victims of racial prejudice, but questioned whether Asian Australian faced greater hurdles than those from other backgrounds.

”Is there a bamboo ceiling that exists in the same way that a glass ceiling exists for women?”

Dr Soutphommasane said an optimistic view was that the underrepresentation of Asian Australians in leadership positions was due to the fact that large-scale Asian immigration hadn’t started until the 1970s and Asian-Australian leaders were still in the ”pipeline”. But he said a more critical view was that the situation replicated a ”pattern of invisibility” relating to Asian Australian within Australian culture. He said in the media, Asian faces were largely confined to presenting cooking programs. The stereotype of Asians as law-abiding, hard-working and studious disguised a more negative view of Asians as passive, acquiescent and subservient.

Referring to the indentured Asian labourers of the 19th and early 20th century, Dr Soutphommasane said Australia needed to avoid the creation of a new class of ”professional Asian-Australian coolies in the 21st century – a class of well-educated, ostensibly overachieving Asian Australian, who may nonetheless be permanently locked out from the ranks of their society’s leadership”.

This story was found at:

Baloch people needed mature leaders and not nawabs and tribal chieftains

“The nations that allow some persons to rule them as nawabs and tribal chieftains always remain backward and face anarchy. On the other hand, nations like Norway and Sweden that accepted changes have become developed and prosperous,” he said.

Marri’s son rejects system of tribal chiefs, nawabs

Updated a day ago

— Photo by Syed Ali Shah
— Photo by Syed Ali Shah

QUETTA: Self-exiled Baloch nationalist leader Mir Harbayar Marri has said that an independent Balochistan will confront problems faced by countries like Angola and North Korea if powers of tribal nawabs and chiefs are not handed over to nationalists carrying out a separatist movement.

Criticising his brothers Jangez and Mehran for vying to become nawab of the Marri tribe, he said in a statement sent to reporters here from London: “Appointing nawabs, tribal chieftains and tribal elders is part of a backward and anti-Baloch system introduced by Sandeman, a representative of British rulers in Balochistan, which has since been harming the Baloch liberation movement and interests of the Baloch people.”

Know more: Mehran appointed chief of Marri tribe

He said it was the right and mandate of Baloch nationalist leaders and youths to decide matters relating to Balochistan because “they have been sacrificing their lives in the struggle for freedom”.

“The people claiming to have become nawab and chief of the Marri tribe, including my brothers Jangez Marri and Mehran Marri, are following the course adopted by parliamentarians from the Balochistan National Party and National Party who went to parliament instead of contributing to the liberation movement,” Mir Harbayar said.

He said the chiefs of the Mengal tribe had been pursuing politics to maintain their hold on the tribe instead of rendering sacrifices for the rights of the Baloch people.

“The nations that allow some persons to rule them as nawabs and tribal chieftains always remain backward and face anarchy. On the other hand, nations like Norway and Sweden that accepted changes have become developed and prosperous,” he said.

He said his late father Nawab Khair Bakhsh Marri embodied a school of thought and he struggled, faced difficulties and hardships and rendered sacrifices for a bright and prosperous future of the Baloch people.

“Not only his children or tribe, but all Baloch people are heirs of Nawab Khair Bakhsh Marri,” he said.

He said the Baloch people needed mature leaders and not nawabs and tribal chieftains if they wanted their identity to survive and to bring themselves on a par with civilised nations.

“We are not against the tribal system but against the system of nawab and tribal chieftain that was introduced by Mr Sandeman,” he said.

Published in Dawn, July 8th , 2014






Pakistan Earning $2 a day, 60.19% population live below poverty line

ISLAMABAD: The Economic Survey for 2013-14 on Monday revealed that if the poverty line is $2 per day in line with international standards for middle-income countries, then 60.19 percent of the population fall below poverty line in Pakistan.
The survey revealed that this figure is according to the World Bank’s Poverty Head Count Analysis 2014. However, if income per adult in Pakistan is taken as $ 1.25 per day, then 21.04 percent of the population falls below poverty line at 2008 population estimates. The position of poverty in Pakistan is better than India and Bangladesh but Sri Lanka, China and Philippine’s are in a better position than Pakistan. The percentage of population below $2 per day in China is 29.79 percent; Bangladesh 76.54 percent, Indian 68.72 percent, S Lanka 29.13 percent, Nepal 57.25 percent and Philippines is 41.53 percent.
Pakistan has adopted the Millennium Declaration in the year 2000, and is committed to ‘spare no effort to set free the most vulnerable segment of population from the abject and dehumanising conditions of extreme poverty’. The Government of Pakistan recognises that eradication of poverty & hunger to meet Goal-1 is a first step in promoting a just and progressive society.
Under MDG-1, Pakistan aims to halve by 2015, the proportion of people living below the national poverty line, achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all, and halve the proportion of people who suffer from hunger.
According the Economic Survey of Pakistan, Poverty is defined as “a state or condition in which a person or community lacks the financial resources and essentials to enjoy a minimum standard of life and well-being that’s considered acceptable in society”. Poverty is pronounced deprivation in well-being, and comprises many dimensions. It includes low incomes and the inability to acquire the basic goods and services necessary for survival with dignity.
Poverty and Social Safety Nets: Poverty is measured traditionally in terms of ability to meet a minimum number of calories in-take or to have a minimum level of income to satisfy basic needs of an adult per day because poor spend sixty percent of their income on food related expenditures.
The Government of Pakistan is committed to improve the livelihood and earning capabilities of the poor to eradicate extreme poverty, the government has started a spectrum of social safety net programs for creating opportunities for the poor to escape poverty and to increase their resilience to crises. Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) is one of the most popular and well-thought interventions of the government. Present government has continued the program with total disbursements Rs48.18 billion up to March 2014, in terms of cash grants and the number of beneficiaries increased to 5.25 million.
Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF) is also contributing a large amount of funds and different interventions are being made for reducing poverty and hunger, enhancing gender equality and women empowerment, improving maternal health and child mortality and increasing community participation. PPAF’s role in micro-credit, water and infrastructure, drought mitigation, education, health, and emergency response interventions has been widely appraised. Total disbursement through PPAF during the period July to December 2013-14 is Rs 8.414 billion.
After the 18th Constitutional Amendment and passing of 7th National Finance Commission (NFC) Award has resulted in a paradigm shift from the previous sole emphasis on overall macro-economic growth as well as Inter and Intra-Provincial development priorities. The 7th NFC Award offers greater chunk of funds from federal to provincial governments that will provide more fiscal space to provinces to play their role in addressing intra-provincial disparities. Now most of the projects related to social sectors are planned and implemented by the provinces, while federal government can only concentrate to allocate larger chunk of the budget towards the development of infrastructure, energy and quality improvement of social sectors. The government is taking various measures to keep stable the inflation rate on single digit through prudent expenditure management, tight monetary policy, better supply chain management and monitoring of the prices & supply position of all essential items by taking all the provincial governments on board for the relief of common man.
The Economic Survey revealed that the efforts will be made to improve overall economic governance, devise social protection policy and strengthen pro-poor institutions that would result in better implementation of poverty reduction strategies and improving HRD indicators by allocating a fair amount under different schemes for social safety net programmes with the aim to directly intervene to transfer resources to the marginalised segment of the society.

Solar Panels in Pakistan

People resort to solar panels for continuous power supply

ISLAMABAD: The residents of the twin cities are opting for solar panel systems to get uninterrupted electricity supply and bring relief in their lives during the hot summer season.The government is making all-out efforts to overcome the power crisis and for the purpose, a number of power generation projects have been launched, which would take some time to complete. However, at present, the demand and supply gap is surging in the wake of the rising temperature, due to which the duration of power outages is also increasing. People using generators run on petrol or diesel, complain of high fuel cost, while the uninterrupted power supply (UPS) systems lack back-up or power storage capacity to fulfil the needs during load-shedding.Though the use of solar panels is effective, but they are out of the reach of a common man because of the high installation cost. That is why the panels can be witnessed in the posh areas or houses of well-off people in other localities. Rizwan Ahmed, an industrialist, said that besides being reliable, the solar panels are more cost-effective than generators being run on diesel or petrol. The installation cost is high, but it is a onetime expense and then one could enjoy uninterrupted power supply for 24 hours, he added.“Installation of a 1,120 W solar panel costs Rs 392,000, but now I am enjoying 24-hour uninterrupted electricity supply,” said Shahid Abbasi, a resident of Sector I10. Rauf Khan, a shopkeeper at G8, who deals in solar panels, said that the sale of solar panels had increased in recent years. Most of the people complained that due to prolonged load-shedding, the UPS did not give the desired results. A single solar panel of 280W cost Rs 98,000, he added.