A Look At Competitive Parenting | #parenting

What do we really know about competitive parenting, and how detrimental can it be to our children? Let’s dive in.

A Look At Competitive Parenting
via Pexels / Karolina Grabowski

In this day and age, we have heard about almost a hundred different parenting styles, and they all promise to be the best one there is. There is being a gentle parent, an authoritative parent, a lawnmower mom, and a crunchy mom. The truth is that every type of mom, or parenting style, is going to have its pros and cons. There are going to be things that are beneficial, and things that can actually do some damage when it comes to child development. Perhaps, the best style is taking bits and pieces from every style and making it work for the individual family.

Every family, environment, and child is different and that means that their needs are going to be different. They are going to react differently to struggles and triumphs, and while there may not be a clear right or wrong, there are parenting attitudes that can cause more harm than good, and competitive parenting may be one of those. What do we really know about competitive parenting, and how detrimental can it be to our children?

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Why Do We Do It?

According to BBC, the reason a lot of parents turn competitive is that being a parent is a strong identity for a person to hold. Moms can self-validate through their parenting and the perceived success of their children. If one of their children gets an A on a test or does a random act of kindness, they feel it is a direct reflection of how well they are doing as a parent. The same goes for if their child gets in trouble, they feel like they must not be doing something right. This can breed competitive natures in parents, and they strive for their child to be the absolute best.

Why We Shouldn’t?

While it may be clear to some, there are some pretty big reasons why this should be avoided at all costs. According to Parent Coach Atlanta, competitive parenting can have some pretty large downfalls on the children, and it can shape how they act as they age. When mom and dad step in during a sporting event to “correct” a referee, a child can get embarrassed and frustrated that they are not winning. This can lead them to have the urge to win at all costs, and this could create some unfavorable habits, like lying and cheating to win. It can also impact their mental health if they can’t win because they won’t see themselves as good enough because their parents get extremely upset if they lose or fail at something.

How To Avoid

Trying to avoid being a competitive parent may be the most important thing. According to Psychology Today, this may take a lot of work on mom’s part, but it can be done. If you are speaking with a friend who is bragging about their child, try and avoid “one-upping” them, and instead just smile and say congratulations. It is also important to try and instill the exact opposite of how you feel in your children. Let them experience loss and struggle, while we never want to see our children suffer, losing and failing can teach some valuable lessons and they are better off by learning how to cope than getting angry or frustrated.

Sources: BBC, Parent Coach Atlanta, Psychology Today

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