Table of contents:
- Every year the number of children's talent contests is growing steadily. Not only their number is striking, but also the variety. From traditional drawing, singing and dancing contests to glamorous beauty contests. There was even a "sports" competition for crawling babies, where the declared age of the participants is from five to eight months. Who needs these contests - children or their parents?
- Crying babies competition
- A straight path to losers
- Who is the nicest in the world?
- Indisputable advantages
- Maintain the child's talent
- Destructive ambitions of parents
Video: Children's Talent Contests: Who Really Competes In Them? - Society
Every year the number of children's talent contests is growing steadily. Not only their number is striking, but also the variety. From traditional drawing, singing and dancing contests to glamorous beauty contests. There was even a "sports" competition for crawling babies, where the declared age of the participants is from five to eight months. Who needs these contests - children or their parents?
Crying babies competition
There is a competition in Japan that is said to be over 400 years old. It has an exotic name - the “crying babies” competition. Its essence lies in the fact that before the start of the competition, sumo wrestlers enter the arena and take babies with them, who are raised high above their heads, and try to make them cry as soon as possible. The one "whose" baby will cry faster wins.
If the scream is heard at the same time, then the winner is the one who weeps louder. If the kids are stubborn or too calm, the judge puts on a scary mask and starts scaring them until he gets the result. It is believed that crying babies drives away evil spirits.
I think that the roots of this action go far back centuries. In this Japanese custom, I see symbolic echoes of a very ancient rite, when children, more often first-borns, were sacrificed to the gods. Raising a child to heaven is a symbolic dedication to the gods, and crying is a symbolic sacrifice.
If we accept the image of this competition as a symbol of all children's competitions in general, then the question arises - to what gods do parents dedicate their children and what evil spirits do they drive away from themselves?
Obviously, it is not the children themselves who are eager to take part in these activities.
A straight path to losers
Childhood, as even non-specialists now know, is the most important and complex part of a person's life. In childhood, the foundations of our entire future life are laid. There is an intensive formation of the body image - the basis of the self-image, personality structure, character traits. All this is very difficult, and sometimes even impossible to radically change in the future. In particular, such an important component of the emotional sphere of the personality as self-attitude is being formed.
Self-esteem is important to distinguish from self-esteem
Let me give you a simple example. Two excellent students take the exam. One student received a C, his self-esteem fell, he was upset, but consoled himself that "I am still good, but this is just a mark." And the second got an A, his self-esteem confirmed his high status, but he was clearly upset, because "although he got the highest score, on the whole I am a failure." The first has a good self-attitude, the second has a bad one. In children under the age of seven, self-attitude and self-esteem are not yet differentiated. Remarks or reproaches about any action (or inaction) are perceived by the child as a censure of his personality as a whole. Therefore, the use of criticism of preschool children should be very limited.
How can participation in contests affect a child's attitude to himself? Most often, at competitions they do exactly what is categorically not recommended: they constantly "educate" children in a certain direction - they criticize them for "failures" and praise them for "success."
The child, of course, strives to be "good", that is, to win. Those who fail to do so remain “losers” in their eyes for life, no matter what success they later achieve. And the winners, perhaps, will develop a good self-attitude, but another danger is quite real - the formation of an inadequately high self-esteem, which also negatively affects future life.
Who is the nicest in the world?
I would also like to say about children's beauty contests. At these contests, girls are given adult make-up, hair extensions, plates are glued to their teeth (milk ones are not so elegant), exhausted with diets, taught to take “seductive” poses and make “cute” make-ups. There is a known case when in America a participant was given Botox injections, and she was only seven years old.
Children are given energy drinks to make them look "livelier". Just imagine what a distorted self-image is formed in these children. In a YouTube video, I heard an interview with an eight-year-old female participant who stated that "the main thing in life is to be beautiful." But the matured former contestant, Brooke Bradley, recalls with bitterness how she hated tanning beds, hair spray and false teeth. "All I wanted at the age of five," she says, "was to play in the yard with my friends and dig worms."
Fortunately, in some countries there are responsible adult movements against these contests. For example, in France in 2013 a law was passed prohibiting the holding of children's beauty contests in the country. In Russia, unfortunately, they are still allowed everywhere, except for the Krasnodar Territory.
Let's leave aside the contests that are clearly toxic for children. There are others: dance, vocal, sports, craft contests, finally. Are they all bad? Or do they have positive aspects as well? As usual, the answer lies in the details.
First, the age. I believe that before the age of seven, any competitions with a winner or even several winners are only harmful. But later, when children are already mastering the ability to compare themselves with other children, when they have already formed a stable self-attitude and the ability of objective self-assessment has appeared, competitions are already possible. Of course, under certain conditions.
And it will be, secondly. The most important thing is the desire of the child himself to participate in the competition. After all, a properly organized competition gives its participant a lot. Communication with peers who are passionate about the same business. Expanding the boundaries of your knowledge about your favorite occupation (subject). Formation of such important personal qualities as perseverance, attentiveness, perseverance. The joy of achieving success and the ability to deal with frustration in case of failure. Perhaps the development of skills for a future profession.
All this happens if the talent competition meets the true vocation of the child. How to understand this? Very simple. Carefully, carefully observe him and follow his interests. Offer a variety of activities and creativity to choose from. Parents do great harm to their child, who do not leave him time and space in order to be alone, to try different activities in order to discover what he is really interested in doing, what his heart lies in, thereby determining what his gift is.
Maintain the child's talent
A gifted person does not need motivation to do what his talent is. Talent itself is super-motivated. It is not without reason that they say: what is a means for talent, is an end for mediocrity. If a child is a born artist, he will happily paint by any means at hand and give it all his free time.
But if a dad, who dreamed of being a football player, suddenly sees Diego Maradona in his son and gives him to a football club, and then encourages success in this field in every possible way, laughing at the drawings, then by doing so he will provoke a deep conflict that will leave an imprint on the whole future the life of his child.
Wise parents will support the child's talent, but at the same time they will instill in him love for other aspects of life. So that he does not grow up as a "one-sided" bearer of the only function, but live a full-blooded life.
Destructive ambitions of parents
Unfortunately, there are many more opposite examples, when parents, with the help of a child, realize their ambitions, raise their prestige, while psychologically crippling him. A striking example of such a pathological influence is shown in the films The Pianist (2001, directed by Michael Haneke) and Black Swan (2010, directed by Darren Aronofsky).
Most often, preparation for the competition turns into tough pressure for the child. Instead of developing talent, there is “training” for the result. An episode from the film "Red Violin" (1998, directed by François Girard) can serve as a symbolic image of this process.
A very gifted little violinist appeared in the orphanage of a mountain monastery in Switzerland. He loved his violin and played it all day. His teachers invited a famous teacher from a large city, who was delighted with his talent and took him to his students.
The teacher's monetary affairs fell into decay, and in order to improve them, he began to prepare the little violinist for participation in the competition at the court of the emperor. The boy loved his teacher and tried his best to complete an incredibly difficult lesson in a short time. He completed the task brilliantly. But he had a bad heart. When he appeared with his teacher in front of the monarch and raised his bow, his heart could not stand it, and he fell dead … That is exactly how, with such an approach to competitions, talent does not develop, but dies.
So, we saw these gods to whom the sacrifices of the competition are made: ambitions, unfulfilled dreams and unlived life of parents; and the evil spirits they drive away - thoughts of their own failure and unfulfillment. And they throw the logs into the sacrificial fire - the ambitions of the teachers and, of course, the money - the organizers, PR specialists, advertising sponsors.