Monday, June 23, 2014

Healthy competition?

My article that appeared in the Feb 2014 issue of Complete Wellbeing is now online. In this article, I attempt to understand if there is any such thing as "healthy competition," and whether competition is necessary for children.

I am interested in your views on this.

The link to the article.


Srividhya Manikandan said...

Great article Shruthi. I don't think there is something called "healthy competition". For a healthy competition everyone should be in same mindset/mentality. For example, in the snake and ladder game that you mentioned, if you were in 99th position and you kiddo got swallowed by a snake, I am sure you might have done the same thing as she did, giving her chance. But how many of her peers will do the same? When the pressure to win builds, healthy competition vanishes. I totally agree with you that "Competition sucks the fun out of the learning process". Rather than looking at our strengths, we start analyzing the opponents weakness and build our strategy accordingly. As a parent, we should not build that pressure to win. Is that change simple??

Chitra said...

"Can I perform well enough to do better than this person, who is at the top of his game?" What happens if the child cannot better this person who's at the top of his/her game? I think the a more important question - and a logical segue to competition - is how do you define failure to a child? Getting better at something (when compared to a previous benchmark of no experience to little experience) and not beating a competition, or getting better AND beating the competition, or simply beating the competition?

Manish'sMom said...

Competition is a primordial instinct. As old as life on this planet. It exists in everything and everywhere in nature. Animals compete fiercely for food.Don't animals kill the young of others in order to ensure enough food for their own species? Ditto plants. Prime example being trees in a rainforest. Plants out do each other in height in order to get sunlight. Why is man any different? Why should he be different?

Shruthi said...

Thanks for your thoughts, ladies!

Manish's Mom, why should man be any different? Because he has the power to reason and change - to understand that cooperation could probably be better for everybody than competition?

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