It is fair to say that as humans we have become a lot more sensitive in recent years to just about everything, with more people becoming more PC by the day. One aspect of this which has frustrated many is the lack of competition for children, with many schools offering competitions amongst the children that have no winners. My buddy Mike Volitich and I believe that this shouldn’t be the case at all and in doing so we are teaching children that competition is somehow bad. Here is why we believe that competition amongst children should be encouraged, not the opposite.
The World Is Competitive
When you go for a job there are other people who want it too, when you start a business there are other businesses vying for market share and when you are trying to get a girlfriend or a boyfriend, there are likely to be other suitors as well. The world by its very nature is a competitive one and we must prepare our children for the brutality that the real world can offer. If we teach our children that winning isn’t important, they may grow up to become non competitive and therefore lose out in a huge number of situations.
Striving to be Better
If we take the example in football of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, two men at the center of the debate as to who is the best of all time, we can see that competition makes them better. Both of these men are wonderfully gifted footballers but there is no way that without one another, they would have achieved all that they have in the game. When you lose you can react in two ways, you either accept that someone is better, or you work 10 times as hard to make sure that you are number one. In this example competition is extremely healthy and it can help our children to grow up knowing that if they want to be the best, they must work hard and improve. If we take competition out of the proceedings, our kids may grow up thinking that they do not need to improve, which is incredibly damaging.
Learning to Lose
Nobody should be happy that they have lost but they should certainly be humble and respectful enough to accept it. In teaching our kids how to lose we are helping to round their character and make them better people. Nobody wins all of the time and those who lose and then go on to win at a later date, are those who know how to lose graciously. If we don’t teach kids how to lose from an early stage, they could react very badly when they lose in the real world. In fact teaching kids to lose early on in their lives will go a very long way to helping prepare them for the real world, where winning and losing go hand in hand.
What are your thoughts on competition for kids?