Raising Competitive Children: How Healthy is it?
A parenting blogger in Dubai shares her thoughts on raising competitive children...
19 December 2017
If you google the meaning of “Competitive,” you’ll get the following: “as good as or better than others of a comparable nature.” Hence, comparing ones’ self, behavior, actions to others in similar situations or characteristics!
We live in a world where competition and competing has become an aim, not a self-motivation trait. That’s the case with most of us let’s say, if not all!
All moms (at least me) want to see their kids the best, the prettiest, the smartest… Even if they are not! That is nothing but normal.
I’m not saying there is any harm in building a self-motivational, confident child. However, what I see around (and mind you, I might be one of those) is parents nowadays invest a lot of money, time and energy in encouraging their children to work hard, achieve, be the best, acquire as much skills and compete successfully. Why and what payoffs do they seek? Few if any, expect children to become professionals. Rather, the competitive activities we register our children in are viewed as valuable training for success in a competitive world! Some do it merely because it’s a trend having a full schedule for these little humans with an activity on each day! Others find it an opportunity to compete against other parents through their children.
Some parents believe exposing their children to many activities, school competitions and tournaments would foster in their children a set of attitudes and skills that would serve them well in such future competitions. This is true, if children are happy and loving the hobbies they choose. I do believe, however, that in many cases they are tragically misguided.
Yes, we live in a competitive society. But, when I look around at the people who are truly successful in this society - the ones who are happiest, most loved and respected, most creative, most truly productive - I see people who are not focused on winning, but who are intrinsically motivated and care deeply about others. They have passionate interests, which they pursue not so much for material rewards as for pleasure! This is what we should implement in our children. We should teach them the right values for a truly successful life!
We should forget about the outer world, winning, competing, what is trending and focus on what our children love, what they are passionate about. Teach them that self-confidence is the first and best key that guarantees winning any situation.