Why Competitive Sports Are Not Good for Children Before 7?



In a sports-driven world, it is natural for parents to introduce their kids to as many sports as they can even at the early stages of development – hoping that one day, they will soon specialize in one sport and become a world-renowned athlete. Obviously, the desire of always wanting the best for these little ones is highly laudable; in fact, this is one core of great parenting. However, the danger comes in when their minds are overshadowed by their own wants and desires that they forget how fragile, sensitive and innocent their kids are – specifically toddlers and preschoolers.


Don’t take away the fun in learning new things. Let them enjoy their early years to the fullest. Let them wear that big smile wherever they go. Your child is precious. Let them be as they are, one with nature, even for a while.


Breeds Selfie-sh Generation


The term selfie does not only pertain to taking picture of your own self, using your smartphone. There is more to this in relation to the kind of youth we have now – the so called “selfie generation”. Know that selfie can also mean selfishness, self-centeredness, individualism and narcissism.


In a recent research, it has been found out that majority of the youths today are narcissistic compared to those who were raised during the 1980s and 1990s. A professor from San Diego State University then pointed out the difference between narcissism and self-esteem. Professor Jean Twenge said that a person having high self-esteem puts great emphasis on personal achievement but at the same time, they also places equal importance to building relationships and are very caring. On the contrary, the narcissistic people lack the care to value others and the ability to maintain relationships; as a result, they tend to have difficulty extending empathy and in socializing.


Significantly, this trait has been largely attributed to technological evolution and the early exposure to competition such as engaging in competitive sports, games and activities in their early childhood years.


Destroys the True Meaning of Competition


Researchers have found that competition is a concept that children below 7 years old and even the older ones could not fully comprehend; this should be out from their early stages of life because they are not age-appropriate. Exposing the concept of having winners and losers in a competitive game can be very destructive to how they understand self-image. Remember that they have such delicate minds at 3, 4, 5, and 6 years old. Simply saying that there is a winner or a loser in every game is not enough. Even saying that accepting defeat is a sign of sportsmanship does not suffice. As kids, it is natural for them to want wins and hate losses. They may think that life is all about winning and that defeat is a sign of weakness, etcetera.


Many parents believe that teaching their kids the value of winning or losing early on can help them in real life. But what really happens is the opposite. It doesn’t help them at all. It results to being competitive with other people, to thinking of their self before others, to highly value themselves before anything else, or to sacrifice the good of others and or doing good just to put themselves ahead of the game. This is not the kind of competition they need when growing up. When applying for work or for school admission, they are not meant to compete with other applicants. Instead of becoming compassionate of their own self, they unknowingly breed hate to others. What they need is to learn to truly value their own skill or to have a firm and strong belief of their own worth, win or lose, accepted or not. Competition should be aimed towards producing cooperation and strong self-worth and not breeding hate, rage or revenge.


Distracts Natural Learning Cycle


One of the common complaints or observations parents say about their kids when studying or training is they easily lose focus and are always thinking about playing. But really, these parents are missing out the centerpiece of the puzzle. Toddlers and preschoolers who love to play should not be scolded nor compared to other kids because they are just listening to their biological makeup. There are other ways to teach kids without disrupting their natural learning cycle. The most effective, however, is letting them learn while having fun or playing. It is always best to engage your kids in games and activities that they love and to make sure they are interested while their brain is learning. One great recommendation is to enroll them in classes or camps where they can learn something new like another language or a sport in a cooperative and fun way.




Surely, the people of this generation need to raise kids who are happy, active, healthy and productive to create a better world to live in. And to achieve this, the parents must recognize that their beliefs about the value of competition are founded on myths – competitive sports are not good for children before 7. If we want to, there are better ways to do things.



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