Are you an OVER competitive parent ?
Are you one of those parents, who?
- Always expect your child to come first in everything
- Demand that your child should be perfect in everything he does
- Do not tolerate if your child fails in anything
- Is always pushing for Gold
If your answer to any of the above is a Yes, beware.
You are suffering from what is known as “The Parent Trap” syndrome.
The Parent Trap
Parents with the “Parent Trap” syndrome generally have very high expectations from their children not only in academics, but also in all extra-curricular activities as well. While a few children can satisfy their parents’ expectations most of the children succumb to the constant pressure and falter in a big way. This sets them up for a huge disappointment and a feeling of inadequacy may also creep in and stay with them for the rest of their life.
The “Parent Trap” syndrome parents try to counter this by saying that they are doing this to motivate their children. However, there is a thin line between motivation and pressure and as a parent, you need to be mindful of that.
How over competitive parent affects children?
Every parent wants their child to do well and it is good to create a competitive spirit in the child. But when winning becomes the only goal the child is unable to enjoy the fun of participation. On the contrary, the child may develop a fear of losing and will avoid participating or competing in anything.
This fear of failure also translates itself into a children’s unwillingness to take risks, or to try something new, thus affecting their overall development.
This further upsets the Parent and they put even more pressure on their children to perform at the next competition and this cycle goes on – unpleasantly for both the child and the parents.
Key reasons parents are so over competitive?
- Peer pressure – it is an ego trip primarily
- Societal pressure – if their child can do it, why can’t my child do it?
- Maintain & continue family legacy – I am a doctor, my child should also become a doctor
- I could not do it – but my child must fulfill my dreams
How to avoid the Parent Trap?
- First, accept that your child is unique. Stop comparing your child with other children
- Accept that it is OK to fail & encourage your child to learn from his failures
- Focus on the process, not the outcome
- Motivate without pressuring
- Show confidence in your child
Whatever the outcome, give your children a big hug
Therefore, it is important that parents also let their children relax and enjoy the competition without worrying about winning or losing. Let them learn with their own experiences and at their own pace and you are there to hold their hand when they need it.