Sunday, 12 October 2014

The spirit of Competition

Earlier this week, we excitedly took part in a blocks building competition as a family. Yeah, that's what we've been busy practicing with, building blocks. 

The competition organized by Rise and Shine was a pre-registered event for families with children between the ages of 1 to 6. I strategically planned Jazz and the man in a team, while me and Jare formed another team. Daddy's girl and Mummy's boy were the considerations. It was mini competition that gave us much lessons to learn and share. 

The younger team groups competed first. We were given 2 simple pictures and tasked to build it within the shortest time. It was unbelievable that Jare and I emerged as the top 3. Don't attempt to challenge stay home mums on their block building skills. It's probably the next best thing I've mastered after leaving the corporate world. Ha.

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Cheerfully ready!

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Prize collection!

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Our goodie bag and win

When it was Jazz and the man's turn to compete, the organiser decided to amend the rules a little for the older aged group kids. Parents were not allowed to aid in the completion of the blocks, only guidance. The build up was more challenging for the older age group. My darling girl was so nervous and lacked the confidence that she decided to pull out. She thought our win in the previous round was her benchmark. She told us she won't be able to win. In midst of the crowd, I knew we needed some serious conversations. I stoop down to her eye level and assured her that the spirit of competition isn't just about winning. Yes, we may get discouraged, we may get disheartened, especially in competitions that we trained religiously on, but there's more to just the end result. Nah, we seriously didn't train for this.

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Interesting to note that participating Daddies are more clam than Mummies

I'm thankful that this light-hearted competition allowed me to shed some light on the spirit of competition with Js. Simple reminders are:

Focus the journey, not the outcome: We often focus on the outcome, which is an uncertainty, that we forgot to enjoy the process. How and why we played the game? The effort and attitude put into the game generates a healthy mood for competition. An appalling witnessed that day was overhearing some parents telling their kids not to touch the blocks. Mummy and Daddy will complete it. It was a pity that what supposedly to be of great family teamwork became insignificant. Though I was a tad concern that Jare, my teammate might not cooperate despite some brief and task dedications, I thought what mattered most was enjoying ourselves. Which we did.

Integrity: It's just too important to play a game with great integrity. Adherence to game rules is an honourable respect to organizers, judges and competitors. Identifying this because we saw how some parents blatantly cheat, in hope to win (not a car as prize). Ain't too sure if such merit is worth a celebration. Oh well, we aren't judges.

Be a good sport: Whatever the outcome, we need to assure ourselves that we tried our best. We, as a family, is always rooting for each other. Let's not grump over a lost, or sulk at our competitors. Look at it as a game well played.

Jazz comprehended and excitedly took up the challenge. Nope, the Daddy and daughter team did not score a win, but I know, in the deepest part of my heart, they played the game tremendously well. They came out with all smiles. Their enthusiasm, teamwork and integrity constituted a winning spirit, which was the best prize to carry home.

Every competition is an opportunity to learn about the game and deal with victory or defeat graciously. Our stressful and self-created competitive society could be more condusive if parents encourage their children with the beautiful elements of competition. Both academically and non-academically, we should avoid adding stress to our kids.

It had been a fun and meaningful experience for all of us. Although I thought the event was not very well organized, I'm heartened with it's good intent to help families identify bonding through play. Which is the bigger picture to look at. Very glad to have organizations focusing on family fun activities.

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