“It’s not competition that’s the problem, it’s comparison. The truth is, only one child can be the best at any one thing. Everyone else is not. That’s an awful lot of losers, if children are raised to believe that winning is the only important thing. If children spend their time comparing themselves to others and slotting themselves into a hierarchy, they are certain to be disappointed, discouraged and sad.” ~ Dr. Patricia Nan Anderson, “How to Help Kids Lose“
As a kid, growing up, I thrived on competition. That is where I derived my self esteem. Though there were many things I did well at, and was the best at, I had a difficult time getting over the fact that I was the very last student picked for the team every day in my school’s physical education class. I didn’t know how to think confidently toward myself as long as I kept losing, and the thought at the time was that it was just the way it was.
I want something different for my children. I can’t change society’s value of competition, and really competition isn’t the problem, as Dr. Anderson states above. What I needed most as a child was to learn how to handle losing in a way that didn’t damage my self esteem. Dr. Anderson’s post, “How to Help Kids Lose,” helps parents, teachers, coaches and others learn how to do just that for our children.
I have long known about Dr. Anderson through her articles and find her to be a reliable expert in child development. Besides contributing to others’ websites, she blogs at Interplay about family, school, community and children. She is a mindful parenting coach and consultant with more than 30 years’ experience in programming and guidance of parents and teachers of young children. With a doctorate in Educational Psychology and a master’s degree in Education, she has been a Professor of Early Childhood Education for more than 15 years at the National-Louis University in Chicago, Illinois, USA, and the Walden University nationwide. She is also the author of Parenting: A Field Guide. and host of the radio program, Parenting: A Field Guide Live! Her free time is spent at home in Seattle, Washington, USA, where she dotes on her grandchildren.
And so, here’s a taste of Dr. Anderson’s post:
How to Help Kids Lose
Everyone likes to win and little kids are no exception. But you cannot win them all and losing often throws young children (and older ones) into a tailspin. How can you help your child learn how to lose? Read on to learn…