How early is it to start teaching your children competitiveness? I mean every second, of every minute, of every day, everywhere in the world people are competing against one another. Personally I see it as a good thing, I want to know that if I win something it is through my own hard work, luck or any other reason. It puts me at loggerheads with many junior schools these days as they have the non competitive sports lessons, sports days with awards for everyone and prizes for everyone.
Whilst with my mentoring head I understand the importance of praise and positive reinforcement, especially as all too many children do not always get this at home I do also believe that children must learn to win and lose and be competitive. Even at 3 years old I don’t let my LG win when we play games together. I want her to know if she wins, she has won on merit and not me letting her win. This even goes against my wife who sometimes throws her turn to give an advantage to our LG. I do not mind as we all parent differently and it is not a big deal. There does however come a time when we all have to learn that we don’t always get what we want and we don’t always win in life.
A mini meltdown over hoses and ladders recently ended our board game fun early (we have a board that lays across my legs in my special reclining chair that enables us to play together as a family) we saw tantrums and stopped playing. A little while later my LG came back and apologised and we spoke about winning and losing at games, the importance in life that all we ever want is for her to try her best, win, lose or draw and that if she always tries her hardest and has fun than we are happy.
Well last night before bedtime she wanted to play Frozen Matching Pairs a dangerous game to play as I’ve been winning this ever since I was 4, my memory is almost photographic and I have a keen aptitude for this game. I should however say I had! Last night I realised that my medication (especially the high doses I had yesterday) severely impacts my ability to do this. Something that my LG took full advantage of. The first game was a close one and I turned over a picture and I knew I’d seen it before I said to myself out loud where it was and I hovered my hand over the card. My LG went yes and my wife groaned and went you’re not meant to tell daddy where it is.
I turned the card over and there was no match. My LG laughed and went no match. As quickly as I turned the cards back over she turned over the card next to it and then the other card and chuckled to herself. This card ended up being the winning matching pair and she was very proud of herself. My instincts here were completely confused and at loggerheads with themselves. in one respect I was really proud of her for winning, and also for duping her old man and catching him out. A little voice also said to me that I should be telling her that it was cheating, however the truth is I couldn’t do that, she hadn’t cheated, she’d tricked me and we spoke about the differences. She laughed and said I didn’t have to listen to her and she was right I didn’t. It is hard to believe that she will only be 4 in a few months.
Her mind is definitely like mine (something my wife says is a good thing) and she is razor sharp, to the point that even when we are trying to talk in code she knows exactly what my wife and I are discussing and answers for us. With the card game we spoke about the nature of whether is was fair what she had done and we had a laugh and a joke about the fact I had lost. Mummy also pointed out that it was always best to play memory games with me at the end of the day once my body is full of medication and my concentration is low. My LG laughed and said that I was so easy to trick and she is confident in winning all future games. I am looking forward to the rematch!