Winning is great! It’s probably correct to say that everyone likes to win. Unfortunately, some people take it too far and focus too much on rising above others. In competitions and games, that kind of over-concentration on winning can ruin the fun for everyone else and, ultimately, for yourself.
This is even more evident in children. Still, in their formative years with developing brains, children perceive many toxic nuances in generally problematic behaviors. Children brought up to think that winning is the only thing that matters is likely to face a lot of problems trying to adjust to a more balanced approach to competition.
Competition is a great thing for a child. It teaches them about effort, working with and around others, and how different one’s skills and methods can be. But being overly competitive can ultimately damage a child’s perception of the competitive world we live in, leading to behavior problems that carry over into adulthood.
It can be difficult to properly teach a child a healthy approach to competition. Some parents and guardians may not even see a big deal with a young, over-ambitious child when it comes to contests, but children need to be taught a healthier view of such challenges. Here are 6 reasons kids should know that winning isn’t the only thing that matters.
1. It is unhealthy fodder for self-esteem
It’s almost fair to say that winning all the time self esteem what causes teeth to eat too much sugar. When children put all their effort into winning, what they do is reinforce their self-esteem with victories.
In moderation, this can remind a child of his abilities and motivate him. Too much, it can make them depend on victory to feel good about themselves. Some tips on this and how unhealthy this can be are:
- Most people lose competitions (there may only be a few winners, or even just one), so your child has a better chance of losing than winning in most cases, and when that starts to happen, his self-esteem It can sink if you rely too much on victories for confidence.
- Competition often teaches children to be better than other children, not to be their personal best; it is not enough to just be “good”. You have to be “better than the others”. This creates a dependency on self-esteem compared to others.
- Parents who support the concept that winning is the most important end up indirectly conveying the idea that their child must win to be loved. So children can develop unhealthy mechanisms to achieve parental pride when they cannot earn something.
2. Teach self-focus
Competition is about “me”, not “we”. Even in team competitions, children who grow up learning that winning is all they have to strive for will often compete with each other, trying to outshine their teammates.
It’s a bold sentiment and one that some may certainly appreciate, but it can take the fun out of sports and result in an inability to work as a team. Most of a human’s life involves the need for teamwork and cooperation, and if your child cannot be a team player when he grows up, he will have a lot of trouble.
In fact, one study found that for competitive and team sports to provide positive benefits for children, the following factors should be part of the activity:
- Reduced negative reinforcement without penalties.
- Emphasis on enjoyment and fun.
- Concentration on effort
- Focus on teamwork and cooperation
- Less focus on competitiveness and victory
3. Can cause burnout
Many people underestimate how much exhaustion can affect a person. If you are not familiar with the concept of burnout, it is essentially a severe form of mental burnout. Think of it this way: if you run for a whole day, you will be so exhausted by the end that you will no longer be able to physically move. Exhaustion is like that, but by mental energy rather than physical.
Polls have shown that a shocking 70% of young people drop out of sports, specifically organized competitive sports, by the time they turn 13. As a result, constant pressure to win and be better than others can lead to problems such as:
- Excessive pressure and stress
- The removal of fun aspects of the game.
- Overuse injuries
- Inability to balance social, academic and sports responsibilities.
- Being embedded in that field, unable to explore and discover how children should be able to
- The loss of a passion for forced performance
4. May provoke hostility
Children can be somewhat impulsive when excited, and a child who has learned that winning is the most important thing can become very emotional, even when he loses.
Losing is common in any competition. No one will win all the time, and when one person wins, others, by default, cannot win. This results in several problems:
Winners and losers are treated accordingly
Your child will envy winners and treat losers as if they are below them. This can cause labeling behavior, and your child can take many harmful actions when misbehaving or attacking those wearing these labels.
All are enemies
When your child views everyone as a competitor, everyone is an “enemy,” and those who are not enemies today could become enemies tomorrow. Your child will learn to view others with suspicion, being not willing to trust anyone, and even treat others with aggression.
Empathy is non-existent
Children who can only see others as opponents stop seeing others as people. This results in an inability to see things from the perspective of others. Studies have shown that competition can decrease generosity, compassion, and empathy toward perceived opponents. In other words, your child will unlearn many of the lessons of kindness that he has been taught.
Communication is not learned
When it comes to teamwork, communication is essential and crucial. But if a child only seeks to compete and win, he never communicates with the people around him. Is lack of social skills it will come back to bite them later.
Friendships are in danger
It is not uncommon for children to meet up with their friends at sporting events and other extracurricular activities. However, when the pressure to win is involved, it is not easy to remain friends with those you are trying to win. When children compare themselves to their peers, they lose the friendships they built in favor of turning everyone into enemies.
5. Ruin the things they love
A battlefield is not fun. Turning playgrounds into a war zone is a surefire way to make kids dislike the game they once loved. It stops being recreation and becomes work. They have to practice “defeating” others and getting good results, so it becomes another form of school.
Taking away passions like this is extremely harmful to children. They may develop problems developing new hobbies out of fear of being taken away or avoiding joining new activities because they don’t want to lose.
For the children who once they poured their heart and soul into the activity in question, ruining it can be devastating. They may suffer from mood swings and decreased positive thinking, a lack of motivation, and a tendency to turn to less healthy habits to fill the void.
Of course, many kids can strike a balance between sticking to their hobbies, just hobbies, and going too far in competitive mode. Those who can walk the tightrope may still love what you do and participate in competitions without adverse effects. But if all that matters is winning, it is only a matter of time before the interest wears off.
6. Makes childhood speed up
Children who are forced to try to outdo others often waste their childhood. Being young is supposed to be about discovering, exploring and learning new things. This is the time to make mistakes, experiment, and take some time before deciding on the things you really want to focus on in the future.
Children who are forced to excel in multiple areas of their life can hastily end up in their youth, spending all their time practicing or working toward the goals that their parents set for them. It is unfair that children are subjected to such pressure and it deprives them of formative experiences.
Interests and passions are things to be discovered and perfected, not imposed on anyone. This is especially true for children, who would benefit most from experiencing childhood naturally for a more balanced future with positive thinking.
The world can often be very encouraging for competitive behaviors. People are always trying to get to the top and stand out from the crowd. While this has its positive sides, it also has unpleasant aspects that children should not reproduce. As the parent of your child, it is your responsibility to ensure that your children can avoid the most toxic parts of that behavior.
The competition itself is not bad. It is actually healthy for a child to participate in a moderate amount of competition. The important thing is the values behind that competition. A child whose goal is to win and win only has values that don’t work well with productive competition.
Instead of teaching your children to compete and always win, teach them to cooperate. Yes, it can, and should, teach them about the concept of competition. But you must also teach them that their best personal brand It is all that matters. Don’t pit siblings against each other, don’t compare your child to peers, and don’t provide completely conditional acceptance based on their performance.
There really are no easy answers to staying on the fine line between healthy competition and toxic competition. As a parent, you know your child best and you know the best way to teach these lessons to your children. At the end of the day, as long as your children are happy, you are doing something right.