Sunday, December 9, 2007

Sunday Scribblings - The Competition

I started to write about a little game called One Upmanship.. this is a pet peeve about which I have been longing to write for a long time. The way parents of all ages constantly pitch their kids against each other in this game they play...
I do it too, albeit in my mind. Every time I see a kid acting up or throwing a tantrum I think of how well behaved Nantu is at that instant. (Every time Nantu throws a tantrum, I think of running away!! )
A few weeks back, Nantu put me in my place when I started at this game. A fellow parent had come home and was raving about how her kid could write her name. A day or so before that another parent had told me about her daughter writing A - E or whatever.
So I in my effort to play the game of One-Upmanship (Where my son has to be better than the other kids his age) ...

Me: Nantu N writes, S writes wont you try to write the letter A
Nantu: Amma ippo enna kiruka udu, naan big boy aanodane ezhudhalam
(Mom let me scribble now, when I am a big boy we can write!)
Nantu's work of art.. a car is what that is supposed to be!!

How true, yeah whats the hurry anyway? And to think a 3 year old had to awaken me to the fact.. what does that say about me?I had a whole list of occassions where I have played/watched this game at play. But in the interest of the blogging populace that reads my blogs, I will end with a few questions .. feel free to answer them!
Why do we have this urge to compete?? Why do we have this need to excel in everything we do? Why cant we live life at our own pace? Who is the judge of what is true success?

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10 comments:

Granny Smith said...

How true! And now at an age where I have 5 great-grandchildren, I find myself still doing it, especially concerning my grandchildren in their teens and early twenties. You remind me to tone it down. Thanks!

Just Jen said...

I can see the little wheels on the car! I think he did great! I'm a daycare teacher and I see it allll the time. I also homeschool and it happens there too. Once I was sitting with some other moms and at homeschool group (don't go to this one anymore cuz we moved...lol)anywhoo, the moms were going around the table, my son said dad at 13 months, my son said cup at 10 months....as it went around the table, the age got younger and younger....then everyone waited for my turn cuz I was trying desperately not to participate...lol So, with all the eyes on me I said, My son said mom for the first time when he was 4 years old and I was so happy I cried. They all shut up...ROFL....my boys had a speech and language delay...lol I'm very careful not to go into that trap because kids are no different than adults in that area, everybody's good at something and everybody's bad at something...lol
Phew...didn't mean to ramble on...I just could relate to the post so much!I guess I upt them on arrogance...not a good trait on my part...oops!

mnamma said...

That is truly an eye-opener from a 3 year old Preethi! And that was indeed a good drawing of a car :)I have visited here a couple of times before but delurking for the first time. My daughters are close in age to Nantu :)

Thinking aloud said...

so true... I see it everywhere...The unconscious comparing..it really does lower a child's self esteem...sometimes it gets difficult not to,...
expeience tells me each child is unoque and let them be... Swaraj is a brilliant reaer and a topper...swarn is a great actor and still does not know how to write his alphabets well but I've quit being bothered...when the time comes, hopefully he will learn....

short and effective post...see the reactions ...

Prats said...

He draws so beautifully....and please don't get bothered by other kids...its natural to feel like that, but we as parents have to condition our minds first if we want to give our kids the best...and that is unconditional support...doesn't matter whether they top or not...its about having fun and enjoying what they do....and i'm sure Nantu is gonna have a lot of fun...

rayshma said...

it's not restricted to kids.. even as adults it kind of tends to nudge us every once a while... i guess we just need to r'ber that success is a hugely relative term... for me, as long as u 'know' what u're doing and why... it's fine to live life at ur own pace. i sometimes tend to get bogged down by MY mom's comments *yeah, even at this age* about how i'm capable of so much more! lol!!

Sumana said...

Guess what it is every parents behaviour. Not sure whether we get this after giving birth to a baby. For dads they never do it that way. It is alwasy the mom's affair. Let nantu enjoy his childhood. He will write and read everything when the time comes. take it easy and a have a gala time with the little artist.

Fuzzylogic said...

Sometimes it takes a kid to make us see how foolish we adults can be.It really gets me the goat when parents try this one upmanship. Here was one of my take on the very same subject.

Preethi said...

Granny Smith - We all do it at some point or the other dont we?? But I like to think I am better than my parents and so on...
Just Jen - That was a wonderful story ... and exactly the essence of what I was trying to convey... Thanks!!
Mnamma - Thanks for visiting...
TA - Yes but like I said above, I think this generation is better than the past.. my mom tried very hard not to do this.. we were both pretty good with our grades, but she would say that we were "okay". The result, lot of people thought we were dull!! Haha!!
Prats - Well said... we do need to be unconditional...
Rayshma - Just the other day another friend of mine was telling me the same thing.. and it happens to me too... its ridiculous isnt it!!
Sumana - Oh no.. guys have it too.. maybe they just dont say so much!!
Fuzzy - Just read yours - it was hilarious as usual... and I cant agree more!!!

choxbox said...

hi preethi.

first time here.

agree with your post. also what abt the effect the parent's braging has on her child? most of the time the said parent is not careful enough to ensure that the kid does not overhear it. boosting a kid's self esteem is different from making them pompous IMO.