We in India are used to facing competition. And I mean, serious competition. We compete for everything from a seat on the public bus to the first place in a cinema queue. Importance of competition has been pointed out by various commentators and has been portrayed humorously in movies like ‘3 Idiots’ as well. But let us take a step back and understand more about the importance of competition in kids.
Here are 5 things that you should know about Importance of Competition in kids:
1. Human beings are competitive by nature. And I do not mean that negatively. We can see this being manifested even in young children in different ways. If you are a parent of two children, it is not uncommon to see one child getting jealous of another. The child seems to want your undivided attention all for itself. This is, of course, a commonly observed phenomenon. With time, as the bonds of love strengthen between the siblings and as the realisation sets in that there is no sense in competing for the undivided love of parents, the behaviour vanishes.
2. Competition helps us become better at whatever we do. Are we not competitive in our work environment? Do we not desire recognition to be acknowledged to be good if not the best in our career? And does it not in some way help us work harder to be better? The fact is that desire to be good or the best can be a great motivator. It helps us work harder and get better at what we do. And the feeling of having competed and been adjudged to be the best is a satisfying one.
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3. Competing can be so much Fun! Even as children, did we not enjoy competing in a game of badminton or cricket? While we enjoyed the sport itself, winning the game also mattered to us. Even today, if we were playing a friendly game of sport with another parent of our age group, we too would get into the competitive spirit almost instantaneously.
4. While the importance of competition for children cannot be ignored, as a young parent, you need to be aware of when competition ceases to be a positive influence and becomes a burden on your child. Here are some indications that competition has become unhealthy:
- Competing becomes the sole purpose and the child is no longer enjoying the process
- The child is stressed out by the loss or takes a long time to recover from it or fears competing again
- Winning is making the child arrogant or over-confident
- The child is willing to take short-cuts or resort to unethical practices to win
- The child is unwilling to acknowledge that the winner deserved it and is not being gracious enough
5. You, as a parent have a big role to play in how your child views competition. Children emulate their parents in many ways and learn from the environment around them. The values that you follow are the values that you instil in your child. You might be interested in reading more about different Parenting Styles.
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- Like most things in life, there are both pros and cons to competition in your child’s life.
- Competition is good for a child because it is both fun and pushes the child to learn new things. It is no wonder that participating in competitive sports is beneficial.
- But excessive competition leads to stressful situations. In this blog, you will read more about the warning signs that you should watch out for.
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As a parent how are you providing a positive environment to create a healthy competition in your kid’s life?
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