Views on competition can get as heated as the competition itself. While some may view it as essential for building a child's character and preparing him for adult responsibilities, others think that it can hurt a child's growing sense of self-esteem and promote the wrong values. If your child shows hesitation to compete but seems to want to get more engaged, it may be worth encouraging him to develop an appreciation for healthy competition.
Many Experts recommends starting with simple games of chance and games of strategy such as, Bingo, Chess , Backgammon, Old Maid or Go Fish. This gives you the opportunity to provide a positive atmosphere for competition and to be a role model for a healthy competitive attitude.
Not all children are motivated to win. The most common reasons that children give for enjoying competition are wanting to have fun, learning and improving skills, the feeling of excitement, the challenge of it, the team spirit they experience and the exercise. Find out what motivates your child and tap into those feelings. When the game or activity is over, ask questions like "Was it fun?" or "Did you learn anything?"
A positive experience with team competition can motivate children to do more. Choose a sport that your child likes playing at home or has interest in learning more about, and then find a team through your church, your child's school or a community organization. Make sure you talk with your child regularly about his experience to ensure that it is a positive experience that encourages healthy competition, and intervene as necessary.
When children are focused too much on winning or losing, they can often feel rejected or worthless when they lose. Yet winning can be empty. Dr. Tom Brunner notes that if you want to win, you can always play against a less qualified opponent, such as a younger child. Instead, Dr. Brunner suggests teaching kids to focus on competition with themselves through personal development, which gives their win more meaning. Help them to set goals, and encourage them to see other good players as healthy competition. Use professional sports players as models to make your point.
Some children are hesitant to compete because they do not feel confident in their ability. If the parents talk openly with their children about their fears and concerns, this will help them overcome their fear.Also parents offering coaching and encouragement with statements like "Try again" and "You are a sharp shooter" builds their confidence and helps them perform better.Note what your child is doing well, and encourage him to keep trying. His confidence will improve as he sees his ability to succeed through hard work and determination.