As the title goes, this was one piece of advice my parents gave me.
“Winning is not important, But participation is .”
When I was a child, there was a moment wherein, I saw a friend almost break down to tears upon losing a match. Being a child, I was unsure about what made her cry a lot. She vented out her anger on everyone around her. It was hard for me to take it lightly. I went ahead and asked my parents and they offered me the greatest lesson of my life.
It is quite natural that everyone is in a cat race. But all forget that one’s calibre is not compared to the other. As each of us is different. If you ingrain that thought in yourself, you will never be intimidated by minor setbacks. I understood that the friend of mine, was disturbed by the thought, that she failed and moreover failed to someone else.
I realised: “No one is actually afraid of being failed, but the thought of failing in comparison to the other, who might or might not be an opponent.”
Participation actually helps to deal with such fears, which the winning doesn’t bring out. And thus, we learn much more, than be disappointed or upset over it. You will also realise your positives and negatives which will help you in the long run.
Now, being a mother, even I encourage my kids to participate, but I don’t force them to bring in prizes, as I am not keen on stacking up those at home. I tell them, that the more you put in your effort, the better you gain – be it a lesson or even a worldly treasure to adore. It never mattered me much other than their joy.
I inspire them to be much more like an explorer, it is no harm in learning through a few setbacks. I assure them, that I will never compare them to someone else as I believe that they are their best versions. As I had learned from my parents, that actually Comparision kills – I never even brought in that topic. And thus, they were always enthusiastic about anything that came up their way. With this , the fear of failing also never bothered them much. Thus they could give their 100%.
Nowadays, compared to my childhood time, I see that the competition is on the roll and everyone around me are in the cat race. All want winners and not just an average or a happy child.
I see that parents and even grandparents are in a rush to make Ambanis, Neil Patels and some duplicates. They forget they are forcing them to be someone, who the child does not want to be. They are so blinded, that they do not see that the child has lost his/her childhood.
As a parent, my prime responsibility is to encourage my kids, to enjoy every bit of action they want to, so at one of point of life, they don’t complain that I never gave them a chance. Being grown up in a middle-class family, I never had the luxury of enjoying much, but I believe I did learn many things, that help me now and in the long run.
My piece of advice to those parents, who are pushing too much- just look at them with all those love and just love, don’t you think, you are doing it too much. As a mom, I pity that child, who is growing up with such parents, who are just making another duplicate in the world.
Remember – we don’t need replicas, we want cent per cent originals.
Teach them, that setbacks, be it small or good, are for a reason, not because the child is not done perfectly. Failure is always a stepping stone to success. With every unsuccessful attempt, we learn to adapt to something new or we learn to choose differently – both are in a way the best way to live. Every competition in life, teach you something fruitful and also gives an enriching experience.
All you have to do is encourage them to be an active participant, enjoy the moments with friends, and make them realise that childhood is for boxing up tons of memories, be it happy or sad.
Every child is unique, never compare them or ask them to be excellent in everything.
Let them cherish childhood- Life is just once- let not anything stop it from being lively.