Children are made to live, not to be competitive

Parents who direct their children to a multitude of school activities, hours devoted to homework that are swallowed up in the middle of the afternoon, the need to bring out their children in some of the hobbies to which we push them … Children have their own seizures and complications, but it seems that from adulthood, grains of sand are also deposited to soon end this way of life, so carefree and seemingly unproductive.

The aim seems to be to train a generation of “elite children”, Competent and endowed with many skills and competences that are supposed to make their lives easier.

But this tendency has very negative psychological consequences.

Check childhood

Some people, when going through existential crises, turn their gaze to the way children live life. Not surprising; the creativity, the spontaneity with which they discover the simplest and most honest ways of acting at every moment, the clear gaze of prejudices … seem to be a characteristic that we enjoy in the first years.

What is happening to this childish mind is, to some extent, a mystery. We cannot say with firmness and total certainty what gradually extinguishes this childish flame that once existed in us. However, in some ways, it’s not hard to imagine possible reasons for what kills people’s childhoodOr that this abandonment of our way of life to forced marches. It is not a biological process, but a learned and cultural process: the competitive spirit and the stress it generates.

    We raise children with a program

    It is clear that taking responsibility and starting for the very long term means that children’s lifestyles (and behavior) cannot remain unchanged during the transition to adulthood. However, recently something is happening that has not happened before and is making children less and less children at an increasingly early age: the spirit of competition has entered the lives of the little ones.

    It has its logic, even if it is a perverse logic. In an increasingly individualistic society where social problems are disguised as individual problems, the same kind of message is repeated over and over again: “seek your life”, “be the best” or even “if you were born poor it is not. not your fault, but if you died poor. “The paradox occurs that, in a world where the place and the family in which he was born are the variables that best predict the health and the economic situation which will disappear in adulthood, all the pressure falls on individuals. Also on the little ones.

    And individuals are forced to compete. How to achieve happiness? To be competitive, as if we were businesses, to reach our fifties with a certain socio-economic status. When should you start the competition? As soon as possible.

    The path of creating children with a curriculum, prepared for the law of the jungle that will rule their adult lives, has already been paved. And, if left unchecked, it can mean the death of the opportunity to fully enjoy childhood.

    Parents who overdo it

    Boys and girls who eventually adjust to the lifestyle imposed on them by their parents begin to show signs of stress and even have anxiety attacks. Obligations related to homework and extracurricular activities are introduced into children’s lives from tensions endemic to the adult world which, moreover, in many cases are difficult to justify without drawing the imagination to what might happen in the future. .

    This is a relatively new thing and not always easy to detect, as some parents and guardians confuse the fact that children seem to meet the demanding goals set for them with an indicator of their state of health and well-being. For example, schoolchildren aged 5 to 12 can perform reasonably well in tasks such as learning to play an instrument or mastering a second language, but in the long run, they will experience stress if the pressure is too high.

    The symptoms of this stress, which are not always obvious and do not appear to be severe, can be mistaken for a normal part of the training process of competitive children. But the truth is that their quality of life will be compromised, and so will their tendency not to judge every experience they have on their usefulness.

    Their way of enjoying childhood will be eclipsed by the aspirations imposed by parents which, in reality, are only supported in what adults interpret as “the sign of a successful life”. They are not so much devoted to the well-being of their children as to impose on them the image of the ideal person, before whom all the doors will be open.

    For failing

    But the pressure and push from kids to what is meant by success is only part of the story. The other is the rejection of what seems unnecessary, Which does not provide a clear benefit, whether it is pleasant or not. Investing time to be a child seems to be valued only as time to rest, relax and gain strength to get back to what really matters: preparing to enter the competitive world, the people market, on a solid footing. .

    Likewise, not being the best at something is seen as a failure that should be hidden by spending time and effort on other things that stand out the most, the best, or by blaming the child in question. “Not wanting to win”. The consequences are clearly negative: the activity is despised as an end in itself and only the result is valued in relation to others.

    “Weakness” in sports or school performance is considered a shame, because it is interpreted as a symptom of possible failures that could be experienced in adulthood. It hurts self-esteem, stress levels skyrocket, and the child feels responsible for not achieving goals that other people have set for themselves.

    Conquering childhood again

    Even adults may be able to save many of the values ​​and habits of childhood for themselves, so that boys and girls find it even easier to take advantage of them.

    To help make this possible, parents and caregivers just have to take a different attitude and adopt a kind of priorities that don’t have competitiveness as a benchmark. This process involves admitting that while adults seem more prepared than anyone else to live life, children are the true specialists in how they experience childhood. Worth the redundancy.

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