competition

Mama Drama: Calming Sibling Competition

Dear Mama Drama, I recently took my 6 and 8 year old daughters to a pumpkin carving contest. It is a wonderful family event that focuses more on community than competition, but the pumpkins are judged at the end and there are winners. My 6 year old won and my 8 year old did not.  At first, the 8 year old was very supportive of her sister, but then as things wound down she started crying.  When we finally got to the root of the problem, it ended up that she was upset that she had given her sister ideas and that her sister had won and she didn’t.   (photo credit) This sibling competition expresses itself frequently in negative ways in our family and I am unsure how to react or what to do about it.  Growing up most of my life as an only child (I acquired step-brothers as a pre-teen), I ...

Mama Drama: Competitive Cravings

Dear Mama Drama: My son is very athletic and competitive. Regardless of the activity he is doing, he has to be the winner and will do anything to achieve that.  When he wins, he pumps his fists, shouts, and jumps around. Then he endlessly recounts how great he was. He watches tons of sports and idolizes sports figures who behave in much the same manner. Recently his behavior has been so obnoxious that other children have begun refusing to play with him. He doesn’t understand why and I’m not sure how to tell him gently. ~Crazed with Competition (photo credit) Dear Crazed: Many kids are naturally competitive and that determination will serve them well in life. However, as you note, too much competition can interfere with social relationships and needs to be balanced. Helping your son underst...

Mama Drama: Sibling Rivalry and Playtime Struggles

Dear Mama Drama, I recently took my 6 and 8 year old daughters to a pumpkin carving contest. It is a wonderful family event that focuses more on community than competition, but the pumpkins are judged and there are winners. My 6 year old won and my 8 year old did not.  At first, the 8 year old was very supportive of her sister, but then she started crying. When we finally got to the root of the problem, she was upset that she had given her sister ideas and that her sister had won and she didn’t. This sibling competition expresses itself frequently in negative ways in our family and I am unsure how to react or what to do about it.  Growing up most of my life as an only child, I really don’t understand and am not very sympathetic to sibling rivalry. How can I encourage my childre...