How do you motivate your kid to think like a champion when he takes part in a contest? After all, you want him to do his best.
Brian Caswell, dean of research and Program Development at Mindchamps – and a grandfather of 15 – shares this advice:
“Competitions are a part of life. For the child – or adult – who enjoys the challenge of pitting his skills or wits against others, participation is its own reward, and winning is just the icing on the cake.
“Contests are also valuable for training young people to deal with the over-competitive nature of the society we have created for them.
“The problem comes when we begin to believe that the only reason for competing is to be the champion.
“The corollary is that if we think we can’t come first, then we shouldn’t participate – which leads to an attitude of never trying anything, in case we ‘fail’. This is, of course, an unhealthy and negative mindset.
“Champions are people who achieve their own personal best, constantly improving it, learning from mistakes and adversity – and not the winning of the gold medal.
“In any contest, there can only be one winner, but that doesn’t mean that everyone else is a loser. It is about enjoying the process.
“Children who feel secure in their parents’ pride and love – who understand that they don’t have to win to prove themselves and feel important – will gain far more from competitive activities than those whose parents require winning at all costs.”