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Please help me understand DS's competitive behaviour

(2 Posts)
ObtuseTriangle Mon 11-Mar-19 02:09:53

DS 7 is in Yr 1 (Oz) it’s a very small regional school with only 7 in his year, 2 other boys. DS and another boy are paired together most of the time as they are working at a similar level.

There seems to be a lot of competition between the two of them which is resulting in unkind words and they are both quick in picking up on each other’s mistakes. DH helps out at school and says its constant.

Last year on a school excursion I was in the company of the pair of them for 5 mins and within that time the other boy had said 3 unkind things in a competitive manner. They seem to be competing about everything, who is first in the line, who is faster in cross country, reading level etc etc.
Soon after the boys started school last year I was chatting to the other mum and she said he was a very competitive child and that that morning he had been boasting of having more points (for good behaviour) than my Dc. On other occasions Dc has been hit by other child when it has been his turn for say show and tell. I am not saying ds is innocent in this as I have heard him say things but this is certainly new since starting school.

We talk to him at home about building friends up, not pulling them down and always pull him up when we hear him say anything unkind but it is still happening. I am worried that my son will continue this competitive behaviour as he gets older and think that is how you interact with friends. We live on a farm, have limited social life but when he meets up with cousins or other children play seems fine. It sounds a bit like sibling rivalry to me, they are both only children (other child has a step sibling).

I really wish he was in a bigger class so the situation was diluted a bit.

So I guess I am asking if this is something that you would see in school often and do they just grow out of it? Am I making a mountain out of a molehill?

OP’s posts: |
LetItGoToRuin Wed 13-Mar-19 10:50:11

I’m sorry you’ve not had a response so far.

If two young children are together all day every day at school and have got into a habit of constant one-upmanship, I’m not sure it’s likely to change any time soon, unless one of them breaks the cycle.

I don’t have first-hand experience with my own child, but two of my DD’s friends get like this when they’re both together, though are fine separately. DD much prefers to see the two boys separately, as do I – it’s so stressful to hear the constant bickering and showing off.

If this is ‘normal’ for your DS every day at school, it sounds far from ideal!

Is there any chance you can ‘train’ your DS to diffuse all of these competitive comments from the other child, consistently, until the cycle is broken? I think it would be very difficult unless your DS is very mature and determined. I’m thinking of responses such as: “I’m not interested in your test score” and “Well done – you must be very proud of yourself” and “It is childish to compare” and “You are a show-off” and “Good luck in the Olympic Games” and “You should be ashamed of your boasting” etc.

How seriously do the teacher and the other mum see the issue? If you all agreed that you would no longer tolerate ANY of this talk, and imposed sanctions on this behaviour, you could break it, but it’d need a co-ordinated approach.

The obvious answer, if you were in a densely populated area, would be to change schools. I assume (perhaps wrongly) that this would be difficult for you.

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