Archive for August 5th, 2011
Myth #3: Competitive Parenting Will Help My Baby Succeed
I have always had the desire to over-analyze everything I do, and parenting is no exception to this. I love my baby so much that I want everything to be perfect for her and I want her to succeed at every step of her life. Because of this I feel a strong competition with other parents of babies the same age as mine. I feel the need to prove myself and make it known that my baby is better than yours. So, we have come to the question of the day- is competitive parenting good for anybody?
My Baby is Better Than Your Baby
I’m sure every parent feels this way at least some of the time. I like to think that my baby is the best at everything, the cutest baby ever born, and will always succeed in life. I suppose maybe there will be other babies better than her at certain things but I don’t like to dwell on that. It seems as though I may have contracted a case of the competitive mom-itis, but I am just so proud of her and excited about every milestone she reaches. My husband is actually worse than me and makes me wonder if dads can get this competitive attitude even more so than moms.
A little competition is good, but I don’t want my baby to grow up believing that she has to succeed at everything to earn my love and approval. Also, having the “my baby is better than your baby” attitude can breed contempt along with a superiority complex as my baby grows older because she is seeing how I act around my peers. Babies are more receptive than we give them credit for and they can pick up on these nuances at an early age. At the same time, it is so much fun to brag on our babies as they reach each milestone, and I think that is wonderful.
Why Parents Compete
I love my baby and I love to show her off, because I think she is the most adorable person in the world. I am also very proud of her accomplishments over this first year of her life and have the urge to let everyone else know that my baby is the best. I suppose that is probably how all parents feel, especially us first time parents. Comparing parental strategies is also a way to make sure we are doing all of the right things as parents. Since there is no clear cut way to raise a child we like to defend our viewpoints and be reassured that we are doing well.
I think a little bragging is okay, as long as I don’t let my pride carry me away and turn mean-spirited. I think all parents should be careful how competitive they get around other parents and not let pride become ingrained in their child. As the Bible says in Proverbs 16:18 “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.” I know this attitude is just wrong and I ought not raise my baby in an overbearing, overly competitive environment.