Saturday, September 06, 2008

The drive to be number one

Debbie makes some great points in her recent post titled "One week in town and ranting all ready...". This particular quote is very thought provoking:

"I read somewhere online the other day that over 80% of parents encourage their kids to be at the top of their class!!! Over 80%!!! Now I know it's been awhile since I have sat in math class, but it doesn't take a genious to know that 80% of all kids will not be at the top of the class. So what about all those kids who fall short?? How do they feel when they know their parents want them to be number 1, or at least number 2 or 3, in their class, but they just can't do it?"

There's nothing wrong with encourging our children to be the best they can be, but there is something wrong in expecting them, and passing that expectation on to them, to be "the best" at whatever they are involved in. Failure is inevitable if that is their expectation because nobody is best at everything. We need to encourage our children to compare themselves to themselves, and steadily work at improving themselves, rather than compare themselves to others and try to surpass them. Big difference.


BJ said...

how sad! I know that one of my children would likely always make the top 80% if not the top 90%....but I would never make him feel like he had to. And for the rest of my kids, I suspect they'd be in the middle percentile, and I'd hate for them to feel like somehow they were less than their sibling who was in the top. Another reason to love homeschooling!!

Jacqueline said...

Precisely my thoughts!