I was talking with my good friend and fellow teacher Mike Volitich last week on how so many schools are now taking a non-competitive approach when it comes to their children. In our view this is something which is very dangerous to the development of our kids and whilst we understand why this has come about, removing competition between kids is doing more harm than good. Many schools now adopt this policy and here are just a few reasons why we believe that kids should in fact be encouraged to compete, rather than what we are currently seeing.
Life is a Competition
The real world can be a brutal place for many people and whether we like it or not, there is competition for just about everything. When you go for a job you will be competing against others, when you try and find a partner you will also face competition and even when you are trying to progress with your career, you will find competition everywhere. If we teach kids that winning is not important then we will not be doing our duty to them in preparing them for the real world, which is what education is all about. Winning is not the be all and end all, teaching kids this is fine, but to say that they shouldn’t care at all is simply wrong.
Throughout the world we can see examples of people who have made themselves better in order to beat the competition. Take footballers Messi and Ronaldo for example, both outstanding footballers but as both will tell you, without the other they would never have achieved what they have in the game. When kids are pitted against each other, friendly competition is what will drive them to improve and find ways in which they can be better, in order to win. If we take competition away from kids then we are only encouraging them to accept the norm, rather than pushing and working hard to be exceptional.
Learning to Lose
In many cases there can only be one winner and that means that we have lots of losers, this is vital to teaching kids about humility and respect. We should be encouraging our kids to try with all that they have to be winners, yet should they fall short, we can then teach them how to be gracious in defeat. Nobody enjoys losing and we won’t be teaching them to enjoy it, what we can teach them however is how to accept when someone is better, or when things just don’t go their way. If we don’t prepare kids to fail, they will enter the real world and potentially have a very negative reaction to a loss, something which they will most definitely experience once they leave education.
We must teach our kids competition in order to make them better people, do you agree with this statement? Let us know in the comments below.