The Chairman of The Independent Association of Prep Schools, Eddy Newton once stated that the best schools not only promote success and competition but also encourage the “life lessons of coping with defeat or a lack of success”. Newton takes an interesting perspective that is worth examining, because it is evident that the struggles of failure are necessary in order to succeed through healthy competition.
From an early age of a child’s life, the concept of competition is quickly learned. As individuals we long for our potential and skills to be recognized. For example, siblings at an early age will often compete for attention from their parents. Even outside of the household, the world is filled with competition. It is seen in sports or even when applying to post-secondary education. All of this competition can certainly be stressful for children; however, with proper guidance and support it can be an avenue for children to mature and grow as individuals.
Competition can be healthy for children because it teaches them that success does not happen overnight. In order to become the best or improve in an area, the child must work hard and learn from their mistakes. Academics is where students will face many of their toughest challenges and hardest failures. Children must be well equipped to realize that failure is not a dead end but an indicator of where further improvement can be made.
Competition should not be seen as a race between individuals trying to get to the top. Rather, it is a competition with oneself. With that thought in mind one must forge ahead with the intention of improving and succeeding in life’s challenges. Therefore, competition is a way to avoid complacency and strive to become the best individuals these children can be. It also builds resiliency and adaptability towards any difficult situation that students may face.
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