Fair competition

When and how should kids learn about equal opportunity and fair games? 

Early on we lower our standards, and we don’t use our full capacity to win against our kids in games. I let ivy catch up with me when we swim. Only in the pool she blatantly asked me to let her win. I didn’t know we were competing. 

Last night a younger girl in the neighborhood came whining to me and another mom to complain that the other girls are not letting her win. I was taken aback. I didn’t know about such expectations on my street. So both the other mom and I said that’s life. She was now taken aback. Three girls were on bikes. One was running. Jackie was running. She wins in sports at school against kids older and bigger than her. And again, I don’t think last night it was a competition. They were just riding around. 

One dad told her to peddle faster. 

My experience with adults dictates that I say this “it must feel frustrating to have someone else bike faster than you. The other girls like to bike fast too.” But the conversation is to be had with the parents early and often.

There are certainly options to help her understand the reality of fair competition (if she is adamant to compete), and also enjoy the companionship of the other kids. The kids welcomed her without fuss. Fast and easy. But the expectations on her part were different.

Conrad suggested that the fastest in a completion to sit one out and give the start, and let the other kids compete. 

Jackie willingly sat out and thus appeased the younger kids. 

Bottom line, I believe kids want and need their emotions validated. But they also need to find out the fairness of competition. 

The younger kids are struggling to share, and single kids are just finding out how their rights end where the rights of their peers begin. Isn’t this ironic that adults around the world have a hard time accepting or understanding this concept.