We all are a part of the mad rat race. We work harder and harder so that we can enjoy and experience a better lifestyle. We believe in buying the latest gadgets with the best features. Never mind the fact that we will never have the time or the inclination to use or explore all those features in our phones. We should have one! Period! Our thinking ends there.
Never mind if our children are unable to cope with higher level (A+) of Math in their schools. We will convince ourselves that this will give them a competitive edge later on amongst their peers.
If we view the aftermath of a simple competition, the winner is always the cynosure of all eyes. Parents are immensely proud of their so-called ‘achievements’ and will carefully put away the certificate in a folder so that they may use it as a future date.
Then begins the next stage which is equally harrowing. Just as we keep pushing ourselves for bigger, better and nicer things…..we will push our children to achieve more and more laurels in academics or the other aspects of their lives.
There are quite a few people who do resort to extreme measures to win in a game or even in life for that matter.
We become so addicted to the rat race and the success associated with all these competitions that when we experience failure at some point in time in our lives – we are at a total loss. Clueless!! We simply do not know how to deal with failure.
There are no losers in any competition
Mature and pragmatic school/college principals understand that it is crucial to nurture the spirit of healthy competition.
They believe in the motto – “Every child is a winner!”
They know that we are all winners in different aspects of our lives!
- Such experienced and zealous principals constantly explore newer avenues of holistic growth so that all their students are exposed to diverse activities.
- They focus on the holistic development of the personality of the child. They very well understand that only this kind of exposure will help their students understand the domain in which their interest and passion lie.
- They ensure 100% student participation by hosting several kinds of competitions.
- Students can participate in whichever competition they are interested in.
- School/College timetables have been revamped so that students can pursue an activity of their choice during the activity periods.
- Students are given the freedom to switch and select a different activity every semester.
- All the competitions are spread out over a week or a fortnight so that all the students can participate in whichever competition they are interested in.
- Several categories of prizes are created for every competition that is hosted.
- The best dancer, the best costume, the best piece of music, the best singer, the best choreographer, etc., etc. Of course, the prizes will vary depending on the kind of competition that is hosted.
- The focus is not centered on one particular student. Several students and their diverse talents are acknowledged this way.
Parents need to pitch in too!
As parents, we need to take up the onus of nurturing the spirit of healthy competition too. We need to support and complement the efforts made by educational institutions.
We need to:
- Analyze our own thinking.
- Shift our priorities and think from the child’s perspective.
- Curb our tendency of pushing our children beyond their limits.
- Encourage them to enjoy the game that they are participating in simply.
- Tell them that competition or even exams and marks are just a tool of gauging our standing in a small group of like-minded individuals.
- Make them realize that we cannot be winners in all the games that we participate in.
- Ask them to analyze their thoughts and emotions after they win or lose a game.
- Imbibe the learning from their successes and failures.
- Make them gently realize that any competition is just a tool and a means of preparing us for the ups and downs of life.
- Ensure that they understand they cannot always expect to be winners all the time.
- Equip them with intangible personality traits so that they can cope with failure too.
- Ensure that they understand the lessons of ‘not winning’ in a competition.
- Create an objective mindset in our children and sensitize them to the feelings of the teams that did not win.
- Nurture the attitude and spirit of true sportsmanship.
- Cheer them zealously when they muster the courage to congratulate the winners wholeheartedly!
- Cheer even louder when our children learn to analyze their weaknesses and work on them.
Despite the best efforts of parents and teachers, students sometimes find it extremely difficult to cope with failure. They are simply unable to accept their flaws or weaknesses.
Parents do not know where they are going wrong. Teachers have too many students to take care of and are unable to pay so much attention to one single student.
But such matters are not simply ignored or brushed under the carpet. The parent and the teachers try to resolve the matter by discussing things neutrally.
Often they feel it would be better to seek the counsel of an expert psychologist.
Counseling departments are being created in schools and colleges for this very purpose.
Parents and teachers are able to tap into their experience and expertise of such counselors. All of them work together to ensure that the child develops holistically.
Parents understand where they are going wrong. Children learn to shoulder the responsibility of their behavior. Teachers work as mediators and ensure the all-round development of the child.
Gradually…….ever so slowly……but surely……..children learn the crucial life lessons of competition. They learn to work hard. They learn to have faith in their abilities. They learn not to compare themselves with their friends. They realize that they are blessed differently.
They now know and believe in the fact……they too will be able to overcome all the odds …………someday…….They are more focused on enjoying the game and doing their best at all times!