Competition is just in the nature of our world. It happens everywhere, especially as a child, whether competing for the top spot at the nearby school, or playing a sport, such as cricket or football/soccer. Children, however, react to competition in different ways. Some rise to the challenge and enjoy the struggle that it takes to reach the top of the podium. Sadly, others cave in from the pressure and stress that occur when pushed to excel, burning them out from the activity they enjoyed previously.
I LIGHT, although, is able to provide healthy competition for underprivileged childrens through their unique competitions, fitting the interests of every child. If a kid is interested in writing, we have a creative writing competition to highlight their strengths. If a kid likes to make creative drawings and posters, we have art competitions as well. We recently even had an Earth Day competition, giving children the freedom to decide a specific but creative poster to spread the word about why we should be protecting the Earth, along with some drawn visuals. No matter what your child loves to do, I LIGHT will make sure that they enjoy being in a competitive scenario and get the experience of being in these important environments. Now let’s learn about the different side effects of competition.
Competition’s favorable and unacceptable outcomes come in many different forms. The positive parts of competing against other children stem from enjoying what they are competing in. If they are having fun, they can develop skills that they wouldn’t be able to elsewhere, such as cooperation, learning and staying strong after failure, and expanding their comfort zone. They also can develop a rich set of characteristics, such as perseverance, resilience, and tenacity. These all help prepare for real-world challenges that appear, like applying for jobs/colleges, raising their own children, and even being social when moving to a new place. Unfortunately, competition is somewhat two-faced. Under specific circumstances, it can also harm children and push them in the wrong direction.
Particular instances of competition can be detrimental to childhood wellbeing and development. 49 percent of children feel a great deal of stress from parents pushing them to perform at a high level in everything that they do. This pressure that they feel even results in burnout in the activities they love to do. A representation of burnout is that 70 percent of children drop out of organized sports by the age of 13, which is a prime example of youth competition in today’s society. It also lessens the amount of practice kids get in social environments, because all the time they have is being put into performing.
As we can see, competition has many effects, but not all of them are desirable. Even though it prepares the youth for many real-world complications by developing specific characteristics, some think the negative consequences that come from this outweighs the positive experiences that children have. But, it’s undeniable that competition worms its way into a lot of things that children face in their life, in the present and in the future.
Written by: Ankit Gupta