[Mother Therapy] Children need to learn both competition and cooperation.


 A field day or a sports day is an exciting event like a festival for most children and parents. However, some children may feel they don’t want to participate because they are not good at sports and they don’t like being in competition with others. Being considerate of such children, some schools organize the field day with less competitive sports and emphasize cooperation over competition.

      An example is the relay race. It is a highly popular sport where players need both the spirit of cooperation and competition. It used to be highlighted as the most exciting sport on the field day and the best runners were chosen to represent each group. Viewers would cheer with all their might and express disappointment and joy according to the result.

Unfortunately, some schools have excluded the relay race claiming that it causes too much stress and anxiety in students. They think that cooperation is more important than competition, but emphasizing cooperation over competition lowers motivation and enthusiasm for participation. Also. Students lose the opportunity to learn how to respect other competitors when they win or lose.

       Discouraging competition and encouraging only cooperation in children’s life may have unexpected adverse effects by depriving them of opportunity to experience diverse circumstances and learn how to deal with them. Children must make trials and errors through as diverse experiences as possible under the protection of family and society to form healthy psychology. Parents and teachers must accurately understand psychological development of children and provide safe environment.


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