Why Boys and Girls Need to Be in Competitive Activities

More than ever before, it is important for our children to be well prepared to meet the challenges of life. This includes their health (physical and mental), education, social skills – and their ability to compete in this world.

Like it or not, competition is an integral part of everyday life and the society in which we live. Our children compete in high school so they can get into college. They compete for jobs through skill-based tests and interviews. They compete for promotions through job performance.

Competition is a fact of life – and so it is important for us to prepare our children for this competitive world.

As caring parents, we appropriately focus on ensuring the basic necessities for health and education, providing a protective home and ensuring academic and social development. But we must not neglect the development of competitive skills. Competition is a key factor that can help bring out the best qualities and efforts of a person – and spur them to reach goals that might otherwise seem unattainable. Competition can also help enhance the creativity of a person and motivate them to be innovative and resourceful. With the nurturing attitudes, competition is a positive, character-building experience.

Competition can help develop self-discipline, focus, patience and perseverance, particularly when pursuing goals.

Competition provides one of the best opportunities for children to come in contact with rules and social values.

Competition develops the need to get along well and respect others and be accepted as part of a team.

Competition can play a prime role in promoting values such as tolerance, fairness and responsibility.

Competition can help develop the ability to set and achieve goals and perform long term planning.

Competition provides life-lessons relative to managing success and dealing with disappointment and dealing with stress.

Competition can help teach responsibility and develop time management skills.

Competition can help build confidence and improve their self esteem.

As we look to prepare our children, we must not forget that “winning” is not the real objective any competition, it is the life-lessons and life-shaping values that they learn along the way that ultimately prepares them for the challenges of life.

Here are some insightful books that further explore the role of competition in the development of our children:

Your Kids & Sports: Everything You Need to Know from Grade School to College by Mike Koehler — Your Kids & Sports: Everything You Need To Know From Grade School To College by educator, coach and parent Michael Koehler is an impressively written parental guide which is packed cover to cover with a wealth of practical advice and information concerning everything from helping a child find the right sport for him or her; to learning to accept and teach one’s child to accept losing; to the physical conditioning needs of young athletes; to the warning signs of drug use including alcohol, tobacco, and steroids, and so much more.

Academic Competitions for Gifted Students: A Resource Book for Teachers and Parents by Mary K. Tallent-Runnels and Ann C. Candler-Lotven — Academic Competitions for Gifted Students: A Resource Book for Teachers and Parents is a key resource perfect for any who would understand academic competitions for grades K-12 from their impact and potential problems to selecting events to match student strengths,

Raising Our Athletic Daughters by Jean Zimmerman and Gil Reavill — Raising Our Athletic Daughters discusses girls’ sports, what girls bring to the sports and what the sports gives to the girls. It is an enlightening look into the world of girls’ sports.

Go Girl! Raising Healthy, Confident and Successful Girls through Sports by Hannah Storm — Go Girl! Raising Health, Confident and Successful Girls through Sports by Hannah Storm is the resource for parents who have sports-minded daughters. It is a must read for those who want to make sports a positive experience for their girls.

Get With It, Girls! Life Is Competition by Teri Clemens — Get With It, Girls! Life is Competition by Teri Clemens is a great book for female coaches and athletes. It is motivating, quick and easy-to-read book full of personal stories and examples.

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