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Two recent events have left me wondering if I’m the aggressive, Type A mom. I hope not, at least that is not my intention.

Few weeks ago, AK had his second recital. For the opening piece, there was a high-schooler who played the Fur Elise. She was sooo good, if I hadn’t seen her, I probably would have assumed it was a record playing somewhere. AK did his pieces pretty well and we did let him know that we were happy and proud of him. Two days later, when we were hanging around I just asked him if he remembered how well that girl had played (I can’t remember if this when I asked him to go practice his music). Honestly, I only said it in the hope that he would feel inspired to be as good one day. I know better than to compare a 16 yr old who has learnt piano for 10 yrs with a 7 year old who has taken lessons for less than 10 months. His response was, “Even I played good. Remember Ms K said that it wasn’t a competition and we should just have fun?” (which Ms K, the music teacher had, at the beginning of the program).

AK’s school has a reading incentive program where in they read regularly for specific amounts of time (20 minutes for first grade) and do some book keeping (cross out a book from a pre-printed sheet for every 20 minutes read), and redeem a sheet (10 books per sheet) for a small prize (like a pencil, eraser, sharpener etc). If they turn in at least 10 such sheets by the end of the school year, they get a medal in a small ceremony. So, today I got the invitation letter for that ceremony. I asked and found out that he had turned in 15 sheets. Just out of idle curiosity, I asked him about a few other kids in his class and many had turned in over > 20 sheets. I don’t know if my face showed disappointment, tears formed in his eyes. “Why do you always think I’m not good enough or others are better?”. I was shocked. I apologized profusely and pointed out to him that he has been reading regularly, only he has stopped the book keeping once he comfortably passed the requirement for the medal (~2 months ago). He felt much better and surmised that he probably had done 20 sheets too.

My dilemma is, how to instill a sense of good, healthy competition in the kid without making him feel inadequate?

 

 

 

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