| 12.8°C Dublin

How to retract your claws

l Be honest

Ask yourself what you're competing over and why.

l Take the High Road

Just because another parent is talking fondly about their child doesn't mean your child isn't good at that particular thing, too.

l Be Sparing with your advice

When friends express concerns about their children, restrain yourself from rushing in with comparisons and solutions.

l Silence the parenting voice

The smug - usually loud - parenting voice when talking to our kids in public gives competitive parents an even worse reputation.

l Don't showboat your child's skills

Treating them like a show pony sends them a dangerous message.

l Stop rationalising

Competitive parents come up with many ways to excuse their behaviour.

l Separate child and achievements

Get some perspective: we don't need children to bring home certificates to validate our worth as parents.

l Be the best parent

By raising a balanced, self-accepting child, not one who is superficially successful.

l Realise we are in this together

Your child will never be happy or secure if you raise them with the idea that it's them against the world.

l Get a pet

Pets can teach children about responsibility and unconditional love. They get children and parents out of the house, reduce cortisol levels and release feelgood endorphins.

Irish Independent