Friday, March 23, 2007

Not Everything Has To Be A Contest

I tell my 5-year-old fairly regularly that not everything needs to be a contest. He's very competitive. He knows which kids at school are "ahead" of him in their homework books. He knows who is further along in their computer program. I talked to his teacher about it last time we had a parent/student/teacher conference, she said that there are 22 kids in the class and only 5 or 6 (I can't remember for sure) are girls, and the boys are extremely competitive with each other. She said it's something they're working on at school, and encouraged me to continue working on it at home.

Well, here is something that isn't going to help. My Mr. and I are having a contest of sorts to see how long we can make one tank of gas last. This isn't entirely fair because he drives into salt lake for school at least twice a week, so maybe it's not so much that we will be competing with each other, as we'll just be trying to each do the best we can. I've walked to pick up my kindergartner from school every day so far in the past two weeks. My Mr. does drive him to school on the way to work (it's been to cold to walk so far, and since the time change we've had a hard time waking up early enough to walk (it takes me nearly 30 minutes to walk the 1/2 mile to his school these days, I have to go very slowly). Lots of excuses. After the baby is born we'll see about walking to school (I need to find a group of kids for him to walk with- he just seems so little to be walking to school without me!).

In other news, my 3-year-old has sat on the toilet three times this morning. Right now he's in there reading his books. Nothing has happened yet, but I'm hoping.


Tyler said...

Well, I might disagree with your sons teacher. I would much rather my child compete and feel good because they did good, than try to reverse that equation and have them feel good, even if they don't do good.

I think that competition can be a good way to teach about talent, and the value of losing.

That said, if by competetive, you meant mean, then I see your point. There should be no room for cruelty in competition.

On your other note, I like the idea of competing over a tank of gas. With only one car, my wife and I compete over who has to fill it up first. ;)

Good luck with the potty training...I'm learning it isn't easy!

Allie said...

In some things, competition can be a good motivator. In this case, it makes my son want to rush through things as fast as he can so that he "wins".

School work is about learning to do things right, not learning to do things faster than the next guy.

(that's why it's a problem)

As for potty training, today was not a good day. I don't think he's ready. When his brother was ready, it was relatively painless and stress-free.

C. Carico said...

I like your gasoline conservation contest. I read an article in Mother Jones magazine not too long ago about a guy who took it to extremes. He wouldn't break at all going around curves on the freeway (or elsewhere?), and scared his passengers nearly to death. He had contests with like-minded folks and ending up setting an incredible record for miles per gallon. But as for the rest of us, driving at a moderate speed on the freeway (as close to 55 as possible) saves gas. Really being aware of traffic and lights so you don't have to break as much saves gas. Obviously not tailgating...I've taken to slowing down before a red light by using the clutch as much as possible. This makes me a mellower (i.e., slower) driver, and the people who waste gas (stomping on the gas to go as fast as posssible only to stomp on the break at a red light) can get impatient if they are behind me.