Three Ways to Help a Competitive Child

What can I do about my competitive child?

That’s what one mom asked this week in the Parent Club when she tired of one child constantly showing off about being best to his sibling, and the arguments that followed. It seems like they never stop! 

Our instructor Kathy Gordon weighed in with this 3-step plan to help competitive kids:

Prep: Get prepared ahead of time in a Listening Time session. This can help remove the powerlessness we parents can feel in a situation. Try imagining everything you’d like to say to your kids with your listening partner instead. This is a chance to say everything you'd like to say, yell or scream at them – without them actually hearing and it’ll help clear your emotions and helps you think clearer when your child next gets competitive. 

Prevent: Watch for patterns in the behavior and get in there first. Silly play works wonders to clear the tension. So, if your children are always bickering over who gets to the car first, dance backward towards it. A little laughter can do wonders to dissolve the bad feeling.

Participate: At the moment the behavior happens get in there with them. Play is your go-to here as well. When a child announces he has the best book or the biggest snack, try a mock threat: Say, “The one with the best book has to do the chicken dance,” and model the chicken dance, or “the one with the biggest snack has to face the Smooching Mama Monster.”

Keeping light stops everyone from getting too serious – and actually works to relieve whatever bad feelings are causing your child to be competitive.

To understand more about why kids get competitive, you can read Helping Super Competitive Children Relax.

Get your parenting questions answered whenever you need in the Hand in Hand Parent Club.

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