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.
Hence, 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’.
No 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.
We are in hurry for everything; we don’t have time for anything. We want our kids to grow up fast and learn each and every skill. In this deceptive world, we all yearn for childlike clean people as their presence delights us, yet we transform the little innocent creatures God gifts us.
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?
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?
Today’s society upholds and affirms that if children will stay active and compete since childhood they will be more energetic later in life, ‘practice makes a man perfect’ being the reasoning behind.
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?
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