Extreme examples often come to mind when I think about what ‘competitive parenting’ looks like. From pushy ex-pageant queens pinning false eyelashes onto tired toddlers, to the unforgiving world of child genius competitions, there’s a sub category of competitive parents who take measuring success to a whole new level.
But there are far more common examples too, many of which slip into our consciousness without much thought as to why it’s happening. How often do we hear the phrase “My daughter got all A’s on her assignments, how did yours do?” Followed by an awkward reply of “Well, mine got B’s, but I’ll get her to resit them all”. And it seems to start pretty early on too, with new parents becoming involved in how quickly their toddlers are meeting their milestones, how their 4 year old is ‘top of his nursery class because he got the most gold stars’ and is ‘so gifted with a violin we’re already applying for the top music schools in the country’ plus ‘look how tall he is, he’s bound to be the tallest in his year’. Continue reading Why I Want To Avoid Competitive Parenting