Ballroom kids get a lot of pressure to win competitions. Who from?
Who doesn't love the thrill of winning? The adrenaline rushing through our veins and the pride that "our child has won". Can our secret desire for our kids to win turn into a bad thing?
Whenever we put a child through any class or activity, we will hear about teamwork, respect for others and dedication. Simply, everyone wants their kids to have these qualities, right? However, even though we accept them as adults, how many times did we secretly feel that "our child must win the next competition- they're the best after all"?
Parents very quickly identify themselves with their kids on a dance-floor and children's success easily turns into their own. I think it's fair to say that we all seek a "confirmation" that our kid is special from the very early stages. Even though they may have only been dancing for a couple of months.
So, how do you put extra pressure on your kids?
Well, it doesn't necessarily need to be a direct statement like "bring a trophy home" or "you need to win". Many parents usually start with innocent statements like:
- you've been practicing a lot. Are you ready to win?
- would you like to get a medal for your dancing?
- do you think you can win the competition?
In other words, what you're trying to say is "I'd really like you to win".
The interesting thing is that everyone wants your kid to win. Your child's dance teacher wants them to be the best. Your kid's dance partner wants the same too. The pressure is high. Now, why would you as a parent put your kid under even more stress?
The problem is that by making "winning" so important, you may lose sight of the things I mentioned at the beginning: team work, dedication and respect.
By all means, I am not trying to say that winning doesn't matter as after all it is a dance competition. However, the best skills your child will ever learn do not necessarily come from being a winner! Here is a useful article 10 Things to teach your kids about failure.
These days our children face so much pressure to "be the best" through social media, at school and later on in life at work. The steak of losing there is high. So the question is: where can our kids learn the lessons of "losing" safely? It is a dance competition. That Sunday comp, really is just a Sunday comp. They will experience the thrill, the adrenaline, but the outcome will not carry any consequences.
Once again, we all love winning. The feel to win is great. However, the message I want to convey here is that our role as parents is to give our kids as many opportunities to grow strong and ready for the adult-life.
Help them realize that they can only control their drive, dedication and hard work, but not always the outcome.
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Photo Credits: Maggiore Fotografico