It’s too early to be competitive

Before bedtime, we always play educational games with Claire. Theses games are always simple and only the chance decides the winner. Claire doesn’t want to be the looser and enjoys a lot being the winner. Sometimes, if we win, she becomes very mad and even cries. Now,predicting the bad result, she gets nervous at the beginning of the play. “Give me some magic to let me win,” prays our daughter anxiously.

We tried several times to tell her that results were not important. We explained also what the chance means. But she refused to listen. She couldn’t accept the failure. If she doesn’t make any progress in something, she will just give it up.

I talked about this problem with her teacher at preschool. She pointed out that Claire had a big sense of competition and wanted to be competitive. It’s not bad to be competitive, but at her age, it’s too early to make oneself focus on it.

But why she sticks to the success ? is it related to our culture? or to her upbringing?

According to the teacher, kids in America are not very competitive, since they always play with siblings and participate in team games. They enjoy different roles in the game. Besides, teachers don’t focus on the best ones and never point out the importance to be the number One. Children can receive praise for different reasons.

On the contrary, we Chinese people indeed pay much more attention on competition. Sometimes we are even unconscious about it. For example, in our family, we asked Claire to be obedient. If she is being good, she can earn points and finally get a toy as recompense. It works but now Claire gets used to the logical: doing wright things only for the present. She skipped the middle and aimed the end. When she was little, all our family spoiled her with kinds of praise like ” your are the cleverest girl in the world”, “you are the most lovely baby”, etc. The comparison was overwhelming.

It’s very encouraging for us to have a competitive girl. We believe that she will dream big and make her efforts to chase her dreams. But it’s now our concern. In her childhood, we only want her to be happy. If she focuses a lot on the competition, not only she lose the pleasure of enjoying the middle of the activity, but also she may suffer from her failure.

Her teacher suggested us to play more games which have no opposite results. We also need to think  about our daily behaviour. Enjoy the game, enjoy all parts of the game.


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