We live in a society that generally bases the culture of success on competitiveness, leaving aside cooperation and empathy.
Children are taught to compete from a very young age. Individual performance is what is rewarded or punished. This and other circumstances sometimes cause the fear of children to compete.
Although today we can choose between different educational methodologies, the one in which performance and individual progress is the one that scores and is rewarded is still very current. In this way, children are taught from a very young age that the best thing is to compete. As an example we only have to look at the way to qualify at school, where although the work is "made up" by working in a group, collaborating or cooperating to multiply the children's talent, in the end it ends up being evaluated individually as in the past.
It does not have to be “bad” for adults to train their children in competition. Well-understood competition teaches valuable values and lessons about sportsmanship and teamwork. The problem is that many times when educating the child, adults deviate from that healthy competition. This can occur for a number of reasons:
- Comparison with others. Parents want their children to be happy and ready for the future. This makes it the adults themselves who experience fear and insecurity for what surrounds them and find answers in comparison with others. Thus, inadvertently, children are educated with a low tolerance for frustration and with the fear of not being better than others. This implicitly puts pressure on the child to be the best, which affects him in a negative way, causing insecurity and lowering his self-esteem.
- The way to qualify. The relevance given to grades and results makes many parents turn to the education of their children and they do so by focusing more on the end demanded by the community and the environment that surrounds them (society) rather than on the processes . This type of competitive education, based on the result and not on learning, brings with it the damage of the child's self-esteem and the rivalry with other children, which fosters the fear of not being the best among other things such as bullying. school.
- The goals of adults. Many parents inadvertently neglect the natural pace of children's development and put a lot of strain on them to achieve certain goals. Those aspirations, in reality, are the goals of the parents that are reflected in the achievements to be achieved by the children. Something that in the long run generates dissatisfaction, since many children are not prepared to comply with what they are asked.
- When expectations are high. When the expectations of the parents are high, the child grows up feeling "little thing" for them who expect him to be "the best" in everything he does. This will create internal tension, a sense of failure, and fear for the child.
Children need adults to understand what a healthy competition means and thus not be afraid. To do this, parents must:
- Be an example. Children learn what they see and hear from imitation. Thus, in the same way that adults face opportunities to compete, so will children.
- Do not compare. It must be clear that each child matures in their own way and it will be a mistake to compare some children with others.
- Do your best. Parents must understand education as a search for learning processes that give the child some tools to function in the future and do not focus on the mere result.
- No to overprotection. Parents should avoid mistakes such as overprotecting their children. Thus, they will discover for themselves the necessary tools to face difficulties without fear.
- The effort. Parents should not focus on whether the child wins or loses. They just have to look at the effort it shows to get the best result.
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