Some people believe that a sense of competition in place of cooperation in children should be encouraged. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of this.
It’s a direct and honest statement that some people do trust that a sense of competition in children should be encouraged but on the other hand, we have those who believe that if cooperation is instilled in a child from childhood, they would grow up as better human beings. In the opinion of some people, the world is a competitive place, and they push their children to win and there are others who value cooperation, and encourage their children to share, play and work together. In this essay, I will ask if winning always means that the other person loses, and whether teaching our children to win is the best preparation for life and introspect the positives and the negatives of both belief.
The thought of imbibing competitive nature in children has certainly got some advantages. Competition is undoubtedly good. First of all, it pushes us to do well, both as children and adults. Our physical limits are tested in competitive sports. Competition in business helps companies to produce new products and services, and competition in politics ensures that different opinions get heard and represented. For children, learning to compete is good preparation for the world. A second point is that competition does not just mean winning: children have to learn to lose well and to learn from their mistakes. In addition, competition does not just mean success for the individual. When competing as part of a team children learn the need to share and cooperate.
However, the disadvantage is that a focus on competitiveness is not always good for children as well. To begin with, very young children are naturally egocentric. As a result, they have to learn that there are others around them. Children have to be taught the skills of cooperation and sharing. A further point is that by learning to cooperate and work in teams, children learn to share responsibility when things go badly as well as when they go well. Finally, in our highly-interdependent knowledge society, very few breakthroughs happen as a result of one person’s work or ideas. No matter how brilliant an individual is, his or her work is the result of working in a team or a community. In fact, many people now believe that all learning is social, rather than individual.
In conclusion, I would like to express that it is almost impossible to separate these two strands of our lives. We are individuals but we are also social. In his book “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” Steven Covey suggests we need to develop a “win-win” attitude. We need to be true to ourselves and what we need, but also to think about the other person’s needs and if we can help our children to do this, we will be doing future generations a huge service.
(Word Limit is 467 words)
GLOSSARY OF WORDS
Instilled – gradually but firmly establish (an idea or attitude) in a person’s mind
Competitive – as good as or better than others of a comparable nature
Competitiveness – possession of a strong desire to be more successful than others
Ensures – make certain that (something) will occur or be the case
Egocentric – thinking only of oneself, without regard for the feelings or desires of others; self-centred
Breakthroughs – a sudden, dramatic, and important discovery or development
Strands – drive or leave (a boat, sailor, or sea creature) aground on a shore
Effective – successful in producing a desired or intended result