Comparing children with their siblings or peers will breakconfidence, panel of experts warn at SCRF 2023

Comparing children with their siblings or peers will break
confidence, panel of experts warn at SCRF 2023

During a cultural forum discussion at the Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival which runs until May 14 in the Expo Centre

Sharjah, May 06, 2023

Psychologists and child development experts have warned parents that comparing children’s capabilities with their siblings or peers negatively impacts on their psychological development and may set them back for life with low confidence, insecurities and a weak self-esteem. These critical observations were shared with parents, teachers and early-years educators who attended a panel discussion on Friday at the ongoing 14th Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival (SCRF 2023), in Expo Centre Sharjah.

The discussion titled ‘Comprehension and understanding of the psychological challenges of children in a changing world’ was led by HE Nabeela Makram, Founder and Chairperson of Fahim Foundation for Mental Health Support; and Dr. Abdel Nasser Omar, Psychologist and board member of Fahim Foundation.

Omar reminded the audience that every child is born different and exhibits unique capabilities, and parents should focus on their individual strengths to ensure their child feels motivated to realise their full potential.
“Parents should raise their children to be independent, decision-makers, capable of standing up and defending themselves”, he further noted, adding that the judgemental style of parenting will seriously impact them.

He also stressed that any psychological issues in children should not be ignored or brushed off, pointing out that a child exhibiting sudden changes in their behaviour is an early sign parents must take note of. “Social awkwardness, nail biting or radical shifts in their otherwise set daily routines that last more than two weeks are all signs that must be addressed by parents and a professional, if need be”.

For her part, Makram said: “Parents should read, research and also listen to experts on ways to build a nurturing environment for their children. They also need to create safe spaces that will help them connect with their children and build trust”.

She added that the stigma of psychological illness and treatment should be eradicated from the Arab world because it is vital to ensuring the well-being of future generations. “It is imperative that families learn how to identify potential psychological problems in their children, and address them before it is too late.”


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