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Help needed to STOP being a competitive parent!!

(32 Posts)
Katnisscupcake Tue 03-Dec-13 15:38:29

I am genuinely asking for help here.

DD is only in Reception so I know I have a loooooong way to go with her being at School. So I really need help to stop being so competitive.

Did anyone used to be competitive where their DC's education was concerned and found ways to stop?

If we get the Newsletter and someone in DD's class gets 'Helper of the week' or some-such award, I want to know why they've got it and not DD which I know is completely crazy and irrational. sad

I know that I need to get over this because I don't ever want DD to think I'm a pushy parent (and in fairness I always hide my worries/fears etc from her) but I worry so much about her education and her future, but irrationally so.

Has anyone experienced this and what did they do to stop it? Any advice gratefully received because I can see sleepless nights starting about this...

ReallyTired Thu 05-Dec-13 14:58:13

lol... The secret of curing competitive parenting is to have another baby, preferly a boy! It makes you realise that a lot of what a child achieves is down to nature and what they choose rather than your parenting!

PastSellByDate Thu 05-Dec-13 15:23:55

Hi Katnisscupcake:

Loved what ReallyTired has to say - have 2 DDs - and couldn't agree more. Personality/ attitude has a lot to do with success (academic/ sporting/ musical/ artistic/ etc...)

The only other thing I will say is being competitive - in the sense of being aware of how others are doing (at your school/ at other schools) is no bad thing. It does help you to see what is possible/ what other children are achieving.

For us with DD1 badly struggling, it wasn't about 'showing off' or being that smug Mum in the playground - it was about understanding that something wasn't quite right and trying to work out how we could help.

I've personally always taken the view that everyone has something they're good at - it's just a matter of finding it and nurturing it.

Katnisscupcake Thu 05-Dec-13 16:47:03

Marytuda - what you say makes perfect sense, it's so true!!

ReallyTired - I fear you may be right. I say I fear because I've recently been seeing a fertility specialist who has ascertained thankfully, that there is nothing wrong with me (following recent Lap and Dye) and no reason why I can't have another baby. But with all the procedures, worries etc it's made us revisit whether we actually 'want' another DC. Hence 'I fear' you may be right because I do think that would improve my competitiveness and I sincerely believe that having a sibling would be really really good for my shy, quiet DD and may well help improve her confidence, but it would also be a risk because we're not 100% sure anymore of what we want sad. Plus I'm 39 so time is not on my side...

PastSellbyDate - again, another great post which gives me things to think about.

I'm actually going out on a 'Reception Mums' night out next Friday because in all honesty, we actually all get on really well, having previously not known each other. Even the teachers have said what a lovely friendly bunch of Mums we are. smile But it will be interesting to see if I can keep my mouth shut because I have no doubt that there will be a few mums there who may be/feel competitive (like me) and in some cases a little judgey...

Maybe I'll post on MN from the loo and ask for exercises to stop me saying stuff - deep breathing and the-like!! smile

PastSellByDate Thu 05-Dec-13 16:53:04

Hi Katnisscupcake

I think going out with other Year R Mums is a great idea. First it's good to put names to faces - instead of endlessly calling them X's Mummy.

Second once you start to learn more about them and their kids, although you may have a moments glory for something your own DC shines at, you'll also find that you're cheering like mad for the son of a DC who got a maths prize after years of struggling.

Get into overcoming challenges... I highly recommend it. There's a group of us who've gradually become good friends since YR and now in Y6 were thrilled at X doing well at swimming, Y doing well at ballet, Z's brilliant story writing and my DC improving in reading/ maths, etc... Genuinely celebrating for each others children and cheering at assemblies.

I hope you get there too!

Katnisscupcake Mon 09-Dec-13 11:08:10

Thank you PastSellByDate, I meet up with a couple of the Mums already and we all get on really really well. I find it's also good to bounce things off of others and find out whether they have the same concerns about things that the school are/are not doing. So far, all of us present a united front. There are 20 children in the class and 16 Mums are going out for dinner smile.

They're a really lovely bunch. smile

Saracen Wed 11-Dec-13 00:54:36

I felt somewhat like you when my eldest was small. I'm a competitive person; it's part of my nature. That was starting to creep into my parenting despite my best efforts to push it down. I wanted my dd to win things and be recognised, But that wasn't important to her.

This became worrying when my dd showed a bit of interest in chess and I discovered that I cared a great deal whether she won. I decided that it's perfectly fine for me to be competitive, but that my kids shouldn't be the tool for that. It isn't fair to them.

So now I go out and play chess myself every week, rather than encouraging them to do so. I am managing to leave my kids to potter along happily. For me, it was just a question of taking the focus of my competitiveness off them.

CloverkissSparklecheeks Wed 11-Dec-13 08:59:27

I am a competitive person by nature, mainly with myself and my challenges but my competitiveness was not helped with DS1 being 'g&t' (I hate that saying). Luckily DS2 is not, he is pretty average and has to work hard, I am not in the least competitive with him and I think I am much better with DS1 now as a result.

Part of me still wants to know that he is doing as well as he was when he first started school but most of me is now very happy to see him progressing at the right rate for him.

Its so daft as I could not actually care less how well they are doing in comparison to others as long as they are reaching their potential but because of DS1 being so academic I find competitive thoughts sneaking in now and then!

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