Competitive Child or Uncompetitive Child (3) – What are children’s going through

This is the third part about how the competitive pressure is affecting children’s today. Before reading on you might like to read the Part 1 and Part 2.

Just imagine, the business of competition on which we are not able to get a handle on in are late twenties, thirties, forties or fifties, we expect our children to get hold of it by the time they hit early twenties, thereby we begin mentoring them to move ahead just after they are born.

How about you waking up one day and you find yourself on an unfamiliar racecourse? Isn’t this happening with young children today?

The day the baby comes into the world through birth, the game of inevitable comparison begins; observing and contemplating upon the features, traits and characteristics of the baby and then citing it is actually considered a requisite charm in birthing and recovery rooms.

Even if you don’t feel like engaging in the dialogue, the people in the vicinity pull you in by probing questions. People involved may not hurt anyone at that moment but the unpleasant complication is that lighthearted talk reinforces the habit of comparing of everyone involved. Henceforth, the act of unintentionally weighing the child’s development milestones, then habits and later their achievements bolsters up our habitude of comparison.

Comparison-is-an-act-of-violenceHence, soon thoughtlessly our behavioral changes are bound to turn up the signs of uneasiness, even dismay, if sometime we might feel the child under performed, or the signs of complacency if sometime the child outperformed. If not rightly tackled, the signals of discontentment and complacency are likely to create inferiority and superiority complex, respectively, in the young mind. Still, if not checked up on, there is high probability; we may land up berating and belittling the child, nonetheless, claiming that comparison and competition are for fun. The situation becomes critical when gradually the child starts comparing self with other children around.

Take a while to recall, what you went through when something or somebody made you feel inferior or superior. Didn’t you lost control over your mind may be for few minutes, few hours or may be even for few days or weeks?

Visualize, how painful it can be for a young child of 4 to 5 years of age or above? By comparing, we make them lose control over their mind and heart and expect them to move towards advancement. Again, I would like to restate the request to reflect over the assertion about using comparison and competition as motivation for children: By comparing constantly, are we really accelerating the process of their success, or rather putting it on hold? Wouldn’t the anxiety they face affect their physical and mental development and well-being?

Another sneaky way, we trouble our children is by, consciously or subconsciously, trying to be winning parents. Nowadays, not only sports and academic competitions but also social gatherings are quite an affair about ‘winning parents’.

Life-is-to-express-yourself-impress-others-thoughtNo matter how obnoxious it may sound, we do use our children to prove how worthy
parents we are; we somewhere pressurize our children to stay active and perform, so that no one questions our competency as parents. People’s appreciation
for the kid, advocates our
parenting skills and galvanizes us to be better parents. 
The gloomy unconsidered repercussion is that we demonstrate to our children, how important it is to please people around and get appreciation. And, we eventually involve them into the nasty never-ending cycle of pleasing and getting pleased since childhood.

Our involuntary competing forces the little children to learn everything fast and perform the arduous task of pleasing people; then we often question ‘Why do children’s today behave like adults’? But the question to be asked is “Don’t we, the parents and elders around, act like kids today?”.

Are we really running behind time so much that we are snatching their childhood, their cuteness, their dumbness from them?

friends-uplift-the-soul
Source: Pixabay

The story doesn’t end here. In the process of exhibiting the mastery in the art of comparison, expectations and competitions, the little creatures are losing the beautiful relationship of “friendship”. Today children often complain and feel depressed due to not having a single true friend. Parents and other elder family members are far away or are occupied and they don’t even have friends.

Try to imagine your life without friends and think about what are they going through?

I often wonder if we often feel exhausted nowadays handling so many pressures, that too after starting to be competitively active after around 16 years of age or so. Won’t they feel drained after staying active or rather overly involved just after being born?

And do you know, what’s more deeply saddening?

They won’t even have as cheerful and stable parents as we have today as we are already too exhausted. They may become emotionally weak, without much moral support from parents and friends, but with multiple skills. Will the skills help?

Let-me-walk-at-my-own-pace
Source: Pixabay | Pixabay | Pixabay

Does enforcing competition seems to be really beneficial enough for children? Think over it and share in the comment box below. If not, let us seal the deal and discuss how to raise an uncompetitive child in this so called competitive world in the next post.

Featured Image from WorldArtsMe

4 thoughts on “Competitive Child or Uncompetitive Child (3) – What are children’s going through”

  1. I think that all kids need to be treated as individuals. Some are naturally competitive, perhaps so much so that this tendency has to be ‘reined in’ so they don’t come across as too aggressive in their peer group; others, like my daughter, have to learn to make their voice heard (or their sports performance valued). My daughter always chooses to ‘go last’ in every possible situation (to her detriment). I also have a 16 year old son who would kill to go first, regardless of merit, so I reckon a responsible parent has to mediate these extremes to find the right path for the child. I have a third child (10 yrs) who is a mix of the first 2, and all 3 do competitive swimming, so I do have some interesting data to draw on. Competition exists in life – full stop. We have to interpret this with our kids to help them grow, develop and learn from their strengths, weaknesses & errors. It is not the case that no competition is preferable to competition, but each child has his/her parameters to respect and success or ‘failure’ should be interpreted with reference to the child’s reasonable expectations and capacity. Some uncompetitive kids have to wake up and realise that the real world envisages competition and to ignore this leaves them vulnerable to becoming a ‘doormat’ for their competitive companions.

    1. Thanks for sharing your take MMac. I appreciate your courage about sharing your children’s story. I totally agree that every child has his or her own peculiar attitude towards competition that needs to be handled accordingly. In the next post about how to raise an uncompetitive child in this so-called competitive world, I have articulated the very idea that competition does exist in life and we as parents need to help kids to take positive advantage of it.
      Thanks for reading and commenting. It would be lovely to listen more of your view in future as an opinion of an experienced person surely helps!!

      Best Regards,
      Priyal

  2. Totally agree with the part of parents’ mistake in pressurising their kids for winning and competing. Need of the hour is to rather inspire kids to do well at what they love doing. Competition could be inevitable, but if attitude towards it is changed, then it will just be a term for different results in a performance. Kids should be made habituated to feeling good about themselves. They should know failures as lessons and not as a parameter of judgement. Above everything else, they should be taught to respect themselves and stand for themselves, so that the polluted environment doesn’t affect them anymore!
    -Avani

    1. Thanks Avani for making efforts to share your worthy thoughts. You’re right that children need to be taught to respect themselves and stand for themselves. I really appreciate your comment. Thanks again.

      Lots of love and wishes,
      Priyal

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *