Competition is all around us – it is inescapable. It makes the strong stronger and the weak, weaker. It is also responsible for bringing the best out of people and making them capable of surviving in a fast paced, stress inducing world. And those who are worst hit by this competition are those who are most impressionable – the children. Children are often wrongly thought of as being immune to competition and the rat race, which couldn’t be farther from the truth. How many of us wouldn’t have seen young boys weeping because the teams they were playing cricket didn’t win in inter school tournaments? How many of us wouldn’t have seen young teenagers lie, cheat, and manipulate just to be the winner at reality TV shows? These are all effects of competition taking over our finer sensibilities – the kind that is known as unhealthy competition. So how do we inculcate healthy competition in children, the kind that will make them better individuals while inspiring them to be better than themselves? After all, competition with one’s own self is the right way to compete. Here’s how to inculcate healthy competition in children.
How To Encourage Healthy Competition In Kids
Here’s all about encouraging healthy competition in kids:
Set Realistic Goals
The first thing to remember about encouraging healthy and constructive competition among youngsters is to set realistic goals for them to stick to. If you begin to push them too hard and burden them with too high a target at everything they do, you will soon end up with an anxious little wreck on your hands, who cannot take loss and would do just about anything to win. Don’t forget that, since this world is seriously devoid of good role models for children, you as an adult and as parents have to inculcate in them the right kind of spirit when it comes to competition. Teach them to be the best, not just the winner according to the standards set by someone else. Don’t forget that it will not be easy for your daughter to do 40 laps in the swimming pool just when she has finished learning to keep herself afloat. Set realistic targets for them to achieve, which will also boost their self-confidence. This way, they will learn to push the bar themselves without you having to put pressure on them.
Values Are In The Family
Since children may be prone to all the wrong kind of ideas and ideologies from popular media as well as the internet, it is up to you to inculcate in them, the right kind of spirit. Sportsmanship and team spirit will help them grow into sound human beings who aren’t easily ruffled by small losses or too elated by victories. In addition, they will not judge people who win or lose too harshly, especially their friends. They may also not want to adopt just any or every method to win, like cheating or manipulating or appropriating, which the popular media tries to show as the right path. Give the examples where one of the family members refused to cheat to win and use that to drive the point across. Try to explain to your child that the victory that comes with cheating makes one insecure and uncertain.
Send The Right Signals
When your child writes an exam, do not ask about how much he or she expects to score, instead ask what he or she wrote about. If your son played a cricket match at school, don’t ask him whether his team won or lost, ask him instead as to how many runs he scored and encourage him to score higher next time, not failing to state that the toughest competition is with one’s own self. If you let your child know that you are more interested to know how he or she performed rather than whether he or she lost or won, you will be able to drive home the point that their performance is much more important than whether they win or lose. They must constantly try to be better than their own selves rather than competing with someone else.
Watch Out For The Wrong Ones
If your child is idealizing a sports star or a movie actor who has come up the wrong way or could turn out to be a negative influence in their lives, be aware. It is not difficult to run into a sportsman who would use steroids to win in games. Neither is it difficult to find a film star who would starve herself to look thin. If your child idolizes such people, it might spell danger for you when the child begins to grow up and the need to fit into the world is felt by him/her. You have to turn children towards the right habits and also the right role models.