Why do some people feel that they are in competition with other people? Like those people who see that their neighbor just got something new, so they have to go out and get something better than it. Where is the sense in that?
Then there are those parents who like to compete with their children. No, they don't compete against their children. They use their children to compete against other parents' children. For example, little Susie takes tap and ballet, so my child has to take tap, ballet, AND jazz so she can be better than little Susie.
There are also those parents whose child has never shown any interest in doing a certain something, but as soon as the parent sees that someone else's child is doing that activity, suddenly their child has to do it, too. The terrible thing about this sort of behavior is when it gets passed on to the children.
I bring this behavior up today because of what transpired when I took Sarah and Emily to our church for the youth group's service day field trip. Today was Emily's first time participating with the youth group. Sarah participated a couple of times last year, and when I asked the director if Emily could participate this year, she said she could.
Then while I was getting Sarah and Emily all settled in and giving them their money for the bowling trip tonight, another girl there (whose mother is one of these competitive types, and has passed it on to the daughter) asked the director why Emily was allowed to participate and her little sister wasn't allowed. The director said that she didn't know why, that she didn't know her sister was even interested in it. No one had even inquired about letting the other little girl participate.
Now, I know this other little girl, and I really don't think that these service projects and sleepovers at the church are really anything that she would be interested in. She's very insecure and immature for her age, and she doesn't like being away from her mother for very long. That being said, I can just about guarantee you that this little girl will be there for the next youth group service day. And not because she wants to go, but because her mother will insist that if Emily is involved, she should be, too.
So, if any of you out there are one of those competitive parents, please take a look at your behavior and just stop it. Constantly bragging about your kids or trying to one-up another parent when she comments about something her child has done or is doing (You're kid did that? Well, my kid did this.) is not going to make people think that you are the great parent that you are trying to make yourself out to be. It's just going to make them dislike you and not want to be around you. And sadly, it will make them not want their child to be friends with yours because they don't want to have to deal with you.