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I still remember our school days when after exams we would wait anxiously for our teachers to show us our exam papers. And on that fateful day we would try with our whole might to find out some way to increase our marks if not two-three, even half marks would do. Trying to find out marks of our friends and some of us would maintain an account of it neatly on the backside of our notebooks. I remember our parents never made a fuss on who got more than us or less. It was like you try to do your best.
But now situation have changed, not only the students but we parents care more for that star, smiley, appreciation, top position. We take a lot of pride in displaying even the smallest achievement on Facebook and WhatsApp. But is it the correct way to instill a sense of competition?
Recent one of my son's friend visited my home along with her mother. We were busy talking and they were playing snakes and ladder. After few minutes his friend gave up playing, the reason was my son was ahead of her. She told me I don't like losing, hence I won't play. I tried to explain that it's just a matter of chance who knows the game might turn in her favour in next few chances. Moreover my son was nowhere near the winning point. But she was reluctant. Then her mother explained that how she always lose deliberately at home to make her win or else she would cry. She never goes out and play with others in case she might lose. Even at school if she get a Smiley she is not happy, she always wants star. And her mother also ensures that she teaches many things so that she is always ahead of her friends. She even made her daughter display some of her skills and knowledge.
I was left astonished once they left. I never knew till then that star is better than Smiley. My son is happy whether he gets a star or a Smiley or even nothing . He didn't display any emotion when she was reciting multiplication table. He was happy for her and even clapped merrily uttering very good.
We should always encourage our children to move ahead, acquire knowledge and learn something new. At the same time they have to be prepared for not only school exams but for the exam of life. They should know that winning matters but what matters most is getting up after losing.