Motoring journos compare cars the way parents compare kids – and it should be done fairly in either case
Comparison 'Test' PHOTOS: TORQUE

It’s all too easy to be over-critical of a mundane vehicle and over-indulgent of a luxury model, which is why I always remind myself that we should respect each and every automobile that comes our way for what it is – regardless of brand, positioning, price tag or horsepower.

Not every car is meant to tackle corners, or possesses the dexterity to rival a parkour exponent; neither is every car a born sprinter. Some are made with comfort as their top priority, for instance, while others provide a no-frills option for budget constrained consumers. I always believe that we get what we pay for, and we pay for the “car-racteristics” we value the most. At the end of the day, comparisons between competing products have to be objective, and the shopper’s expectations must be realistic.

The same philosophy applies to children. As parents, we should respect
each child as a unique individual and appreciate him/her for all of his/her
virtues and shortcomings. However, this is easier said than done because parents, just like motoring journalists, are human after all, and humans are by nature susceptible to favouritism, prejudices and preconceived ideas.

My daughter may only be two years old, but she already exhibits certain personality traits we can “project” into her teenage years. Some of these we are happy about, such as her pleasant disposition, meticulousness and sense of responsibility, but other traits we are less accepting of, such as her stubbornness and impatience.

The dilemma for me is: Should we try to influence and change her based on what we think is best, or should we just allow her to grow into the person she is meant to be?

It’s even more challenging for parents with more than one child, I reckon. I sometimes put myself in the shoes of these mums and dads, and I imagine how difficult it must be for them to always try to be fair to their brood and refrain from comparing one with the other, even if they love them all equally. I will not even begin to discuss how parents often compare their kids with the latter’s classmates, especially on exam results.