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Teaching your child to be #1 and competitive?

What do you think about pushing your child to be # 1 in everything they do? The "if you're not first, you're last" mentality.

DS is quick to give up on stuff because he has a real lack of attention. UNTIL we tell him "don't you want to be # 1 and be the best?" Then he is all gung-ho and does great, pays attention to the coach and what the other kids are doing so he can try to do whatever it is better than the other kids.

Obviously we do not put him down if he does not come in first, we still tell him he did great. But since we have been doing this, I've noticed he has become very competitive.



Asked by Anonymous at 5:47 PM on Jun. 10, 2010 in General Parenting

This question is closed.
Answers (12)
  • And honestly, do you think the millionaires and billionaires out there would be where they are if being #1 wasn't their #1 goal in life? Maybe if more people wanted to be #1 or at least do their very best to reach their goals then less people would be living off of the tax payers....just a thought. That said, you better believe I raised my children to be competive and to strive to do their very best at everything they do. We don't settle for being mediocre, we strive to be the very best. We don't expect them to be #1....we DO expect them to give 110%. Not everyone can be #1 but everyone CAN strive to do their absolute best and work very hard to obtain their goals.

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:07 PM on Jun. 10, 2010

  • Well, as long as when he gets older and he doesn't like something, you dont MAKE him be in things or you don't punish or yell when he isn't #1 I don't see a problem with it..

    Answer by maxsmom11807 at 5:48 PM on Jun. 10, 2010

  • I personally would not use it as a motivation tool. There are other encouraging ways.

    Answer by 3gigglemonsters at 5:57 PM on Jun. 10, 2010

  • I would much rather my child be compassionate and caring than competitive. I intentionally put him in sports leagues that aren't competitive for that reason. He knows where he excels, and we encourage him in those areas, as well as others - but I don't always want him to think he has to be #1.

    Answer by missanc at 5:59 PM on Jun. 10, 2010

  • I don't use "you have to be #1" or anything like that but I do teach my DD that she can/will do great and that she is a valuable person... I try to motivate her without making it against others...

    Answer by leslie_zoe2010 at 5:59 PM on Jun. 10, 2010

  • If your goal is to be a millionaire then you have succeeded.
    If you can find happiness and value in things that dont take money, then you are rich.

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:11 PM on Jun. 10, 2010

  • There is the possibility that your child will be successful. There is also the chance that your child will either start resenting that you push him like this at things he wouldn't have normally want to do, or become a complete jerk if he starts being "#1". I've seen BOTH with two of my cousins. The older brother was pushed so much into sports and 4-H and crap that he has no time for himself, and he now really doesn't like sports but still has to do them and "be the best". The younger brother is a jerk about it to those in his age group because he's "#1".

    While I think a certain level of competitiveness is good, I think making your child think that he HAS to be #1 is just going to cause trouble.

    And for the record, don't say that 110% crap. It's physically impossible and it's just plain stupid to say. Say "give it your best" or "give it your all". 110% makes me want to bash my head into a wall from its stupidity.

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:13 PM on Jun. 10, 2010

  • Answered at 6:11 PM on Jun. 10, 2010 by: Anonymous
    If your goal is to be a millionaire then you have succeeded.
    If you can find happiness and value in things that dont take money, then you are rich.



    Answer by Fallaya at 7:23 PM on Jun. 10, 2010

  • You can encourage your child to do his best, but to expect him to be #1 in everything seems like high expectation of a child to excel in everything. Every child excels in different areas whether it be a specfic sport, math, science, etc. I would praise him for doing his best, or trying to help his team win if he's playing on a given team. Let's face it, in real life even baseball players don't get a homerun every time at bat. They just try to play their best and be a good team player.

    Answer by CafeMochaMom1 at 7:52 PM on Jun. 10, 2010

  • you can train the competitive child to compete with himself rather than with the other kids. if he catches more balls in this game than in the last game, hits more balls, hits further than he did the last time. it does not have to be an in your face, i am better than you type of thing.

    Answer by happy2bmom25 at 8:40 PM on Jun. 10, 2010