Children are made to live, not to be competitive
Parents who point their children to a huge amount of school activities, hours dedicated to the duties that are swallowed mid afternoon, the need to make children stand out in any of the hobbies that we push ... Childhood has its own crises and complications, but it seems that from adult life are also being placed granites of sand to make that way of life, so carefree and apparently unproductive, come to an end soon.
The objective seems to be to form a generation of "elite children" , competent and equipped with a lot of skills and competencies that are supposed to make your life easier.
But this trend has very negative psychological consequences.
Putting child in check
Some people, when they go through existential crises, look back at the way in which children live their lives. It is not surprising; the creativity, the spontaneity with which they discover the simplest and most honest ways to act in each moment, the clean look of prejudices ... they seem to be a characteristic that we enjoy during the first years.
What happens with this childish spirit is, to a certain extent, a mystery. It can not be assured with firmness and total security what it is that makes little by little the infantile flame that once was in us go away. But nevertheless, In certain aspects, it is not difficult to imagine possible reasons that explain what kills children's childhood , or that this abandonment of our lifestyle forced marches. It is not a biological process, but learned and cultural: the competitive spirit and the stress it generates.
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We are creating children with curriculums
It is clear that the taking of responsibilities and the fact of starting very long term makes the lifestyle (and behavior) of children can not remain unchanged during the passage to adulthood. However, recently something that previously did not happen is happening and that makes children fewer and fewer children at a younger and younger age: the competitive spirit has entered the lives of the little ones .
It has its logic, although it is a perverse logic. In an increasingly individualistic society where social problems are disguised as individual problems, the same kind of messages are always repeated: "get your life", "be the best" or even "if you were born poor it's not your fault, but if you died poor it is. " There is a paradox that, in a world in which the place and family in which one is born are the variables that best predict the health and economic status that one is going to have in adulthood, all the pressure falls on individual people . Also about the little ones.
And individuals are forced to compete. How can happiness be achieved? Being competitive, as if we were companies, to reach middle age with a certain socioeconomic status. When should you start competing? Sooner.
The way to create children with curriculums, prepared for the law of the jungle that will rule your adult life, has already been leveled. And, if it is not stopped, it can mean the death of the possibility of enjoying childhood fully.
Parents who overreach
Children who end up adapting to the lifestyle imposed by their parents are beginning to show signs of stress, and even anxiety crises occur. Obligations related to homework and extracurricular activities introduce endemic tensions in the adult world into the lives of children, which, in many cases, are difficult to justify without imagining what might happen in the future.
It is relatively new and not always easy to detect, since some parents and tutors confuse the fact that children seem to reach the demanding goals that are set with an indicator of their health and well-being. Thus, school children between 5 and 12 years old may be doing reasonably well in tasks such as learning to play an instrument or master a second language, but in the long term they will suffer stress if the pressure is too high .
The symptoms of this stress, since they are not always very evident and do not seem serious, can be confused as a normal part of the process of forming competitive children. But the truth is that their quality of life will be compromised, and the same will happen with their tendency not to judge every experience that lives according to its usefulness.
His way of enjoying childhood will be eclipsed by aspirations imposed by parents and that, in reality, are only sustained in what adults interpret as "a sign of a successful life."They do not dedicate themselves as much to the welfare of their children as to impose on them an image of the ideal person, before which all doors will be opened.
Fear of failing
But the pressure and the fact of pushing children towards what is understood as success is only part of the story. The other is the rejection of what seems to be useless , which does not provide a clear benefit, regardless of whether it is enjoyable or not. Investing time in being children seems to be valued only as time to rest, relax and get strength to return to what really matters: the preparation to enter the competitive world, the market of people.
Similarly, not being the best at something is perceived as a failure that should be hidden by dedicating time and effort to other things that stand out more, at best, or blaming the child in question " not wanting to win. " The consequences of this are clearly negative: the activity is belittled as a goal in itself and only the result is valued compared to the others .
Showing "weakness" in sports or school performance is considered a source of shame, because it is interpreted as a symptom of the possible failures that could be experienced in adulthood. This causes that the self-esteem resents, that the levels of stress are triggered, and that the boy or girl feels responsible for not reaching some objectives that other people have fixed him.
Conquering childhood again
Even adults can be able to rescue for themselves many values and habits of childhood, so children have it even easier to enjoy it.
To help make this possible, parents and caregivers only have to adopt another attitude and embrace a type of priorities that do not have competitiveness as a reference . This process goes through admitting that, although adults seem more prepared than anyone at the time of living life, children are the true specialists in their way of experiencing childhood. Forgive the redundancy.