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How to Cope with Competitive Parenting

By: Sarah Edwards - Updated: 14 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
Competitive Parent Children Peers Happy

Parenting can be very competitive. It starts at birth, or sometimes even BEFORE you have become a parent with talk of the best pain relief for labour and whether to breast or bottle feed your baby.

It is very hard not to compete as a parent because we are all intensely proud of our children and want everyone to know how truly amazing they really are. However, being around someone who is constantly comparing your child to theirs and finding fault is very wearing and can make you stressed and unhappy.

All Children Are Amazing

Every single developmental stage of a child’s life brings with it amazing changes. They learn new things every day and every single moment should be celebrated as a milestone in their development. It is really important to remember that all children are different and do things in a different way and at a different time to their peers.

Even children within the same family such as cousins may well perform differently even though they may be quite similar in age, and brothers and sisters with young children can become very competitive about the abilities and skills of their children.

Don’t Try To Out Do Each Other

Trying to compete with over precious and competitive parents really is a waste of time and energy. Some people live their lives vicariously through their children, and become very pushy parents who enrol their child in every after school club going from Cantonese to scuba diving, and horse riding to music classes.

Parents like this want their child to be the best at everything and truly believe that by immersing them in as many clubs, classes and groups as possible, that they will be better than anyone else’s child. The fact is that they will probably just be very tired and eventually resent the fact that they don’t ever get any time off to watch television and lounge on the sofa!

Competitive parenting can breed fiercely competitive children who strive to out do their friends and peers, and have to be the best at everything. Aiming for success is admirable, but as long as your child does their absolute best at everything-it really doesn’t matter if they win every race at sports day or come top in the weekly spelling tests at school.

Be Happy That Your Child Is Happy

Happy, well balanced children who have a lust for life is what we are aiming for as parents, and getting involved and spending too much time with overly competitive parents will make life stressful and also distract from your child’s achievements.

Progress and achievements in many areas of your child’s life could end up be over looked because you are so strung out about what your friends kids are doing, and feel that your own children should be doing better, running faster, winning more awards and so on.

Instead of worrying needlessly about what they are NOT doing, focus on what they ARE doing and how amazing their achievements are-in every area of their lives. Learning to climb a tree for the first time, cycling without stabilizers and scoring their first goal, are just as important as getting excellent grades in their school report and being selected for the latest school drama production.

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