> Mushypea, Sprout et al: Healthy competition

Monday, 2 April 2012

Healthy competition

I know, I know! We are told to not compare our children as they all develop at their own pace and in differing ways.  Truth be told, we do don't we?  I'll wave my hand in the air and admit that I do - maybe not outwardly so but I do nonetheless.

Munch and I go to a sensory group where there is singing, signing, music and a whole host of other activities that keep us entertained for a full sixty minutes.  The first time he sat on his own solidly was at this group.  Cue utter amazement from yours truly and a proud mummy moment added to the list.  I digress.

The other week another mum, who had not been to group with her son for a couple of weeks, noticed Munch sitting.  She commented on how the last time she saw him he was not sitting on his own.  Then she asked about eating.  Her little boy had not quite mastered the art of putting food in his own mouth yet with the whole baby-led weaning whereas Munch had.  It is when conversations go this way that I wonder what good it does asking.

I admit I look to see what other children of a similar age can do to see what is possible.  We all parent differently which bring out different skills in our offspring.  That does not mean to say that I am upset if Munch is not doing something that others can.  It only makes me want to encourage him to develop those said skills so that we do not miss it through oversight on our part.

From that incident I have looked back at my own childhood.  The earliest memory I have of being competitive comes from when I was around seven years of age.  There were these books - the gold books - which were kept next to the headmistress' office.  You were only allowed to choose from these books if you had read all the other books available in class.  My best friend at the time was reading these and I wanted to also.  And so it began. A switch got turned to on in my head somewhere and in my final year at the age of twelve I won every school prize going bar sport and music.  Yes, I was that child.

I am competitive by nature - it makes tasks and activities more palatable for me.  Hell, even if there is no competition I will set one in my head to push myself - it is nice to win but the drive it creates in me is addictive! 

Competition can be healthy and be a great motivational tool but there always come a point where you realise that there is always someone better and it hits you with a thud.  For our little boy there is only one thing I ask - to be the best that he can be no matter what that may be.

* goes to discover how not to be an overbearingly pushy mother*

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