I recently attended sports day. My children are in a lovely little rural primary school. Did this make sports day any less competitive… no. And I’m not talking about the children.
First, there was the ordeal of finding a seat. Unfortunately, the only space was next to someone who would rather spit at me than say good morning. Awesome. So I take my place already feeling shite about what came out of her mouth. Then her tribe of cronies turn up. None of which even sniff at me to say hello. Then they spend the next two hours screaming at their children from the sidelines.
My encouraging shouts are ones of ‘come on darling’ or ‘woohoo reds’ theirs were screams of ‘dig deeper’ ‘try harder’ ‘don’t stop now’. We’re talking 7, 8 and 9-year-olds. Needless to say when their children didn’t win there were tears and frustration. When my children didn’t win they lolloped off back to their tent quite happy that they’d got a sticker.
So why at such a young age are people piling on the pressure to win? And we’re talking sports here. God knows what they’re like when these poor babies have a test. I have to note that not one of them took place in the mum’s race! I’d love their children to have screamed ‘encouragement’ back at them!
Life is about trying your hardest, but you can’t be good at everything. It’s more important to join in than it is to win. But more importantly, it’s about having fun. So let’s not pile on the pressure. Let’s not teach our children that they have to win everything. Let’s just be a bit kinder and enjoy the joining in bit!