Toddler triplets' drawings show why siblings shouldn't be compared

Genevieve “Genna” Knox vividly remembers taking her triplets to their first doctor’s appointment.

"The pediatrician looked at me and said, ‘Don’t compare them,’” Knox tells

“It was some of the best advice I received,” she says.

Knox’s daughters, Kaylee, Cecilia and Lily, are now 3, and as their doctor predicted — they each have their own way of doing things. In a TikTok video that has been seen more than 15 million times, Knox highlights their distinct personalities by sharing how each girl customized a color-by-numbers rainbow.

The clip is titled, “Why they say NOT to compare your TRIPLETS.”

Cecilia is first. Her rainbow is unfinished and “looks a little rushed,” says Knox, a fifth grade teacher in San Diego. Next up is Lily, who didn’t stick to the suggested color schemes, but clearly put effort into her work. The final coloring page belongs to Kaylee. She colored in the lines and chose the correct color for every part of the rainbow.

“I have a feeling Cecilia wanted to be running around and doing different things — probably playing dress-up,” Knox says. “She’s a little performer.”

Knox describes Lily as “rambunctious,” and notes that “she will give you the sweetest cuddles, but only after she tackles you to the floor.” She's the sportiest of the bunch and was the first to swim.

Kaylee, Cecilia and Lily Knox. (@knoxedoutnumbered via Instagram)
Kaylee, Cecilia and Lily Knox. (@knoxedoutnumbered via Instagram)

As for Kaylee, she’ll happily craft for hours.

“She calls herself an artist,” Knox reveals. “She loves coloring and will sit there very focused. The others will just do it for a few minutes at a time.”

According to parenting and youth development expert Dr. Deborah Gilboa, it’s nearly impossible for parents to not compare their kids. It’s how our brains are wired.

“What you want to caution yourself from doing is jumping to conclusions,” Gilboa tells “Comparisons aren’t the problem — it’s the conclusions we draw from them.”

As an example, Gilboa pointed to Kaylee’s neatly-colored rainbow.

“I wouldn’t want her mom to say ‘this kid is going to be a genius in art,’ and the other two are lazy,’” she explains.

Gilboa also warns against making comparisons in front of younger kids, even if it’s just making a casual observation such as, “You painted a cat, and you painted a dog.”

“Depending on the moment and the developmental stage and the child, they may hear ‘you like that better painting better, you like them better,’” Gilboa says. “That’s why it is safer to not speak about comparisons out loud.”

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