Why I’ll be teaching my kids that winning is important

why I'll teach my kids that competition is important

We all know about non-competitive sports days and the growing trend in schools today to not celebrate the ‘winners’. Instead, each child should be recognised for taking part and ‘having a go’.

But is this really a healthy life lesson? 

Non-competitive sports days and why I don't agree

What about the real world?

No matter how much we try to shelter our kids throughout childhood, there’s a time when they will enter the ‘real world’. I’m not sure we’re doing our kids any favours by not teaching them a healthy sense of competition. You don’t get any recognition in adulthood for simply ‘competing’. You get recognition through dogged determination, hard work, and clear goal setting.

We should be teaching our kids that hard work pays off. That talent is a great gift. That skill can be honed and improved if you keep at it.

Not that simply taking part is enough to get a medal. Surely this only panders to the sense of entitlement that we speak of so much when referring to today’s ‘youth’. After all, what’s the point in trying hard if your efforts aren’t even recognised?

There’s is something for every child

Not every child is naturally good at sport. And yes, competitive sports days celebrate only the minority who happen to be naturally talented athletes. But why not give them their chance to shine?

Just like the academics get the chance to feel proud in the classroom, the musically gifted in the school assemblies and the budding actors in the school plays…There will always be those things we’re good at, and those we’re not so good at. Can we not celebrate the individual talents and achievements of each and every child?

Am I a pushy parent?

I personally think there’s a huge difference between being a pushy parent and being an encouraging one. Growing up, I remember my own mum always saying ‘If you try your best, that’s all that matters’. There was no pressure to achieve certain grades or become Head Girl at school…

But at certain points in my life, I’ve achieved things I’ve been proud of – those times when my best just happened to be good enough.

If I fail, then at least I know that I gave it my best shot, I don’t beat myself up about it because I ‘could’ve tried harder’…But those times throughout life when I’ve come out tops have been priceless.

And that’s really what it’s all about: Giving our kids their own chance to shine. Helping them to understand where their skills and talents lie…and teaching them that winning is always worth the effort.

Do you think that having a sense of competition is a healthy life lesson? Or do you agree in non-competitive sports days and activities at school?


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11 Comment

  1. Kerry
    May 18, 2017 at 8:51 am

    I always find this a hard subject.. I feel like it they are good at something they should try their best but at the same time, I don’t want them to feel like if they don’t win, they’re useless! #coolmumclub

  2. Talya
    May 18, 2017 at 11:44 am

    I love this …I do think there is a fine line between being pushy and giving them the opportunity and belief to shine…but I do think the children naturally seem to be geared up to want to win so why shouldn’t we support them in that hope? Thanks for linking this up to #coolmumclub lovely xoxo
    Talya recently posted…It’s never too late for elders to get active with DW SportsMy Profile

  3. Tubbs
    May 18, 2017 at 12:59 pm

    There’s nothing wrong with competition and helping children nurture / develop their skills so they can be the best they can be.
    But teaching them to be a good competitor is also important. The Tubblet’s swimming lessons took place after the classes for the children swimming at competition level. I lost count of the number of parents urging their kids to do whatever it took to get ahead and slagging off the other children. So much for sportsmanship!

    1. Natalie Mudd
      May 25, 2017 at 12:08 pm

      Yes, being a bitter competitor is ridiculous and parents should definitely be leading by example – sometimes you win, sometimes you lose and both are commendable. Parents behaving that way is just embarrassing…

  4. Lucy At Home
    May 18, 2017 at 3:07 pm

    I think it’s important to teach kids to have a go, even if they’re not going to win at something. But I also think that competition is important because it drives you to do better. #coolmumclub
    Lucy At Home recently posted…Declare it! Own It! Make Your Inner Voice Your Cheerleader!My Profile

  5. Nicola
    May 18, 2017 at 10:23 pm

    I’m all for competition! My kids know what it’s like to win and lose and if they win it’s because they’ve really worked and really tried, not just because we let them. I agree in the Lombardian Ethic – Winning isn’t everything…it’s the only thing ;-)! #coolmumclub

  6. Muffin top mummy
    May 20, 2017 at 3:25 pm

    I was all ready to disagree with you, but I can totally see where you’re coming from. I’m the least competitive person ever because I’m generally a bit crap at most things – but the skills I do have, I’m proud of and want to succeed with them. I think that this is actually a valuable lesson; try your best and be proud. #coolmumclub
    Muffin top mummy recently posted…Brand new blogger – 3 months inMy Profile

  7. Crummy Mummy
    May 24, 2017 at 2:35 pm

    I wrote a similar post last year about non-competitive sports days. I just don’t see the point! #coolmumclub
    Crummy Mummy recently posted…‘I’m scared for me & I’m scared for the kids’My Profile

    1. Natalie Mudd
      May 25, 2017 at 12:05 pm

      Me neither! I think it just confuses me that there are so many ways to assess and ‘grade’ our kids in the classroom these days, but yet we can’t have a good old fashioned sports day?!

  8. absolutely prabulous
    May 24, 2017 at 9:09 pm

    Oh god I popped over to reciprocate your #coolmumclub love but I have to admit I saw this on your site before the linky but don’t know where to start! I get both points of view but ultimately I’m anti competition (mostly…) as I’ve seen the ugly side it brings out in people and I hate it. Having said that, how do we raise our kids to be aspirational and not lazy bums who lay about if we don’t instil some sense of competition. Ugh. I dunno! Let’s chat about it some time over a coffee lol x
    absolutely prabulous recently posted…The First Thing I Think When a Tragedy like #Manchester happens.My Profile

    1. Natalie Mudd
      May 25, 2017 at 12:03 pm

      Ha that could be a long chat!! I do agree that some people take competition too far but I think competition is what drives us to do better if we approach it in the right way. But yes, some people can take it a little too far! xx

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