“Competition is very good… as long as it’s healthy. It’s what one needs to strive to be better.” – Christine Lahti.
Active participation in competitions enables development of many positive traits in children. However, unhealthy contests can cause stress and disappointment in children.
Even child experts recommend healthy competition for children. But if you are still hesitant to involve your child in tournaments and worried about its effects, then here are a few ways to differentiate between healthy and unhealthy contests:
How to red flag unhealthy competitions?
- The competition will arouse anxiety or make him nervous.
- He will not be prepared to accept his defeat.
- Resistance to further participation.
- Previous contests caused disruption in friendship.
How to green light healthy competitions?
- Your child will sound excited about the competition.
- He should be okay with losing the match or tournament.
- He will focus on improving his skills.
- Competition is seeding improved confidence.
- The child has fun and looks forward to participating rather than winning.
How can a healthy competition benefit your child?
- Motivates children.
Tournaments are an interesting way to keep your child motivated. Despite the ups and downs, their passion for doing better keeping them going.
- Builds confidence.
Participating in meets gives a good dose of self-esteem to the child. Continuous participation and interactions help them overcome negative emotions like fear, anxiety, etc.
- Makes them goal oriented.
Contests set a goal for victory and children to practise hard to reach those goals. Thus, these children turn out to be focused individuals.
- Prepares them for the real world.
In today’s world, one cannot move up the value chain without competition. From a seat in a reputed college to a decent job, you will face rivalry everywhere. Hence, school level contests would be a good start for him.
- Life becomes interesting.
Youngsters are always curious and enthusiastic. Meets are a wonderful platform that enables them to exhibit talent and interact with teachers better. Thus teachers can work with students as a team, making even the introverts life interesting!
Three tips for encouraging healthy competition in children:
- Help them set the right goal.
Your child can’t win all the time so make sure that failures do not stop him. Parents can help children in fixing achievable goals for the contest. Exceeding these goals will prevent him from getting dejected.
- Ask them to compete with themselves.
Explain the importance of practice and perfection to your children. Contesting with oneself is always a good idea than with others. This will help him try harder and perform exceptionally than always.
- Don’t compare instead appreciate their efforts.
Parents should never compare their kids with others as this can evoke negative emotions in him and also lead to an inferiority complex. Always encourage your child to give his best and appreciate even his smallest achievements.
Competitions help children to understand and develop social skills and values. Taking part in group matches will encourage them to cooperate with other team members for success. Winning in these matches not only boost their self-esteem but also prompt them to practise, research and develop their skills. Even if they lose one of the tournaments, they can learn from their mistakes and give their best the next time.
So will you encourage your child to participate in the next contest at school? Let’s know here.