15 June 2012

Competition for babies? Are you kidding me?

Fashion Show isn't just for girls

When I found a certificate saying my youngest brother won a healthy baby competition, that got me. How come a 6-month-old baby got pulled into a competition? And how can you compare one healthy baby to another? Now, a parent myself, I started to see what it means to have a trophy on your shelf.

I was never competitive.
I don't have the confidence nor the courage to handle being a loser.
But my son is different. He likes to compete, he likes to win and whenever he loses, he tries harder. I was surprised (he must have inherited that from his dad).

Following him through different stages and different dramas this past 4 years, I started to see how competition is beneficial (or at least positive) for me and my son.

(1) We find time to bond. Being a working mother, I rarely spend time with him at home. So whenever we sat together waiting for his turn on a fashion show competition, we found time to talk and share how our week is going. We got to pick clothes together, practice together and I got to support him from the side. He learnt that I will be there with my camera and despite my absence during the week, I will always be there to support him on competition.

(2) Socialize. I got to socialize, meeting other competition-mania moms and bond with them. From one stage to another, we ended up as friends, sharing stories way beyond photo and fashion show contests. it leads to playdates and friendship. A good thing... especially when my son has no brothers/sisters to share his toys with.
Finding new friends

(3) Competition teaches how to win, how to lose and how to try again. Not just for the kids but for the parents as well. Many experts agreed on how competition on regular basis will benefit the children. Competition teaches kids problem-solving skills, set goals, and learn about their limitation. Parents learn how far they should push the children and how to cope with loss - because the children's loss is the parents' loss as well. And sometimes parents take loss harder than their children (who in 10 minutes already forget about it). In my case, it's an easy way to teach my son that he doesn't always get what he wants. Since he's currently the only grandchild my parents have, we can safely say he got almost everything he wants.

(4) He learnt to listen. Kids have short attention span, so it's good to have him focus during the briefing before each competition and get him to listen when his name/number is being called. He learnt that if he miss, he won't have another chance and he'll lose not because other people do better but simply because he didn't listen.

But well, my son is 6 years old. I can't speak for the babies.

Andrew at Parenting Indonesia Cover Hunt