More than 20 years ago, when we were kids ourselves, the competition was very well seen and it was the universal answer to everything related to performance.
But now, on the one hand, there are opinions that say the competition encourages a child to excel in today’s fiercely competitive world where we compete for everything be it a job, a partner or a house. On the other hand, there are also very strong and credible others that say it can destroy self-esteem and lead to resentment.
Let’s see what are the good parts and the bad ones, and you will decide how to manage to obtain the best of it when it is the case.
The 5 good ones about the competition:
1. Competition means to play
Play is perhaps the greatest setting for learning social skills and integration, so your child would benefit from it.
2. Competition is exciting
Learning happens best when you’re excited about it. A competitive environment is perfect for developing your skills because it pushes you to always give your best.
3. Competition means together
Being in a team with partners that relies on you creates a bond, a real cooperation of trust and reliability. Competition allows children to learn patterns of social cooperation without exceeding critical limits of aggression. In an age of social media and growing individualism, time spent interacting and communicating with others is reducing.
However, our ability to work with others to achieve a common goal is an essential skill to develop, not only in sport but in life.
4. Competition implies emotional control
Being in a team encourage responsibilities you have to support others but also the self control of the selfish attitudes. The reward is that together you can succeed and you will have the same treatment from others as your partners during the game. You learn very early to be reliable and to rely on and that’s a very valuable lesson. With appropriate instruction, competition encourages children to reflect on their behavior under emotionally intense situation and develop strong emotional intelligence, accordingly.
5. Competition inspires creativity
Time and again, to win the game, or gain the supremacy, requires thinking outside of the box.
Competition urges children to challenges their status quo and try new things, which improves their creativity and problem solving skills.
The 3 bad ones about the competition:
1. Competition can lead to hostility and aggression
A winning at all costs attitude can easily manifest into aggressive behaviors, a loss of sportsmanship, and ultimately, cheating. What’s more, some parents instigate this behavior by trying to fulfill their need for satisfaction and success through their children.
2. Competition leads to low self-esteem
Being compared to others’ performance all the time, the child could perceive it as a lack of competence and he will be tempted to give up and try other places to obtain gratification from.
3. Competition is ego deflating
The success of one child or team causes the failure of another. This is more likely to happen when success is measured solely on the competition outcome. It also can bring the false perception that if you don’t win, you worth zero.
Therefore, it’s important to think carefully about the type of competition your child participates in. See how he feels, what motivates him to be in or out and cooperate with him to get the best from this experience.