Whether it’s a cross-country race, or a challenge to be awarded a prefect badge at school, competition occurs a lot growing up, and it is an integral part of the workplace too.
Your children must have a good understanding of competition and have a competitive side. But it is vital to have the right level of competitive behaviour. In this blog, we look at the advantages and disadvantages of competition, and what healthy competition is.
Potential Benefits of Competition
Some people feel that instilling a competitive mindset into your children is a good thing and that a little healthy competition is positive.
Prepares Children for Adult Life
Allowing your child to become accustomed to wins, but more importantly, losses too can help them significantly in the future. Competition is found in many aspects of life, so it can be useful for them to grasp it while they are young.
Helps Children Develop Vital Skills
Taking part in competitive activities can help them to develop vital skills such as determination, perseverance and resilience. Your child can also improve the understanding of taking turns, encouraging others and even begin to show empathy.
Expands Children’s Comfort Zones
It can be seen as a positive to broaden your child’s experiences and push them out of their comfort zone. Coaches believe that children must get used to the frustration that comes with competing; it can help them avoid the desire to quit or give up when things become challenging.
Children Can Learn About Failure
A child needs to understand that failure isn’t necessarily a bad thing. By partaking in competitive activities, your child can learn from failure and begin to see the losses as a way to evaluate how they can improve for next time.
Potential Drawbacks of Competition
While there are some noticeable positives to exposing your children to competitive activities, some believe that there can be negatives to it too.
Children Can Feel Pressured
Some people believe that too much competitiveness can become destructive and toxic because children can feel pressured to succeed. Whether it is a football match or spelling bee, it can feel stressful for children to perform their very best and can cause them to develop anxiety.
Children Can Feel Bad About Themselves
Competitive settings can sometimes be destructive to a child’s self-esteem. If they begin to feel like they don’t measure up to their competitors or that they are not getting recognition for their efforts, then they can start to feel bad about themselves.
You might find our previous blog on ways of calming and comforting children useful in supporting your child through competitions.
What is Healthy Competition?
Competition is healthy; the unhealthy part can be how people treat competitions. The goal mustn’t be just to win; they should be encouraged to learn along the way and see a win as a bonus. Otherwise, children can begin to feel discouraged if they lose.
As a parent, you should try to instil it in your child that competition is fun, you can learn a lot from it and winning is the cherry on top! Children with the mindset of being able to grow and develop can become fantastic competitors. Being able to recognise where they went wrong and that they can train to become better can help them not only in their current competitions but also for future life.
We hope that you can support your child in competitive activities and that your child can feel confident going against others. For some more help in preparing your children for competition, you might find our other blog about how to help children set goals useful. Setting realistic targets can help your child to understand competitions and also help them to realise it isn’t all about winning.
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