So the school had inter house athletics this morning. The kids only really start with longer distances in Grade 4 when they are 10 but poor old Zoe who is in Grade 3 and only 9 has the disadvantage of having the legacy of family runners hanging over her. Her parents run and Grandma that works at the school runs as well so Zoe must run.
So this morning it was 800m’s. My brother’s little girl in Grade 4 ran as well. Jessica the cousin started to run at the speed of light, Zoe was jogging along. First round Jessica was crying and Zoe was last but waved at us all smiles.
And every time one of the other little girls stopped to walk, Zoe would stop as well and encourage them and hold hands with them etc. And the girl will start again but by this time there will be another girl walking so Zoe will walk with her again.
And so it went, cousin crying, Zoe encouraging. And the end result was a first place for the cousin and a last place for Zoe. Zoe happy and smiley, cousin crying.
So which child is better off? Am I wrong in not pressuring Zoe to perform better? Should we put pressure on her? Should it come from inside herself? Or should I just be exceptionally grateful that I have a child who is happy and wants to encourage others and care so much about others?
I honestly don’t know – Hubby and myself were parenting from the point of view that we won’t put any pressure on Zoe to do anything but is that wrong? Shouldn’t there be at least a little pressure?
And then the other thing – they are still so young – surely this shouldn’t even be so important?