From the moment they are born, we ask them to be the best: speak early, learn to read first, show how much English they know. Be the best, always the best. Get the best grades, get the judo black belt, be the top scorer in every game … We don’t realize it, but we do it. Just ask … and your friend … what grade did your friend get. Why kids don’t need to be the best.
But kids don’t need to be the best. What they need is to be happy. Experts warn of the danger of this education based on competitiveness. The result can be devastating for the child.
Why you should not educate your child to be the best, but happy
Children are born with a gift. There is always something that will shine. A gift that will make you special, unique. You don’t have to demand that you be the best at everything. The best in math, in art, in all sports … He doesn’t have to be the best, he just has to be happy.
Educators and psychologists raise the alarm: making a child competitive and demanding that he be the best can cause him all these problems:
- Frustration: Constant competition creates nothing but frustration and stress, because you will not always get what you set out to do. Demanding too much of a child makes him feel like he is letting himself and his parents down. And the worst: these children will grow up with a constant fear of failure.
- Low self-esteem: If a father is constantly demanding that his son be the best in everything, the only thing he gets is that he does not trust his possibilities. It is normal: he tries hard but they demand more and more … that is, the child will end up thinking that he is not capable of achieving what his parents demand because he never becomes perfect.
- Mistrust: Competitiveness creates mistrust in others. And it also takes away the freedom to live their childhood to the fullest.
- Loss of values: It is difficult to compete with others without falling into feelings such as jealousy, anger, fear. Many times, the child will end up sacrificing positive values such as companionship or solidarity in pursuit of their benefits.
- Unhappiness: In the end, a child who spends the day competing with the rest is not happy. It is something that has been imposed on him, not that he has sought. It is not his path: it is the path that his parents have traced for him. Can a child be happy without feeling free to choose his own path? Can a child be happy without enjoying what he learns at his own pace?
How to educate the child to be happy
Remember: educate your child to be happy, not to be the best. How?
- Help him enjoy what he likes and make the best of himself, discovering what he excels at or what he likes the most.
- Help him fulfill his dreams, not yours.
- Let him live his childhood as a child, not as an adult. If you insist that he compete from a young age, he will grow up as an emotionally troubled and empty adult.
- Don’t give him everything done. Let him learn from his mistakes. This will increase your self-confidence.
- Teach him to overcome his frustrations. Let nothing stop you. Explain that he will stumble on the way and that he must get up again to continue on the way.
- Teach him values that will fill his life and will undoubtedly bring him happiness. For example, kindness, solidarity or empathy.