Monday, 9 April 2012

School competitions

So we have yet another competition at Tara's school. Why does everything have to become a competition?

We had a note in Tara's bag at the start of the holidays, that the children have to make a crown to wear at school for the Queen's Jubilee function. Not a bad idea I's a bit of fun. The next para said that all crowns had to be completed and submitted by the end of this month so they can be entered into a crown competition. Parents were of course allowed to help, but the child had to do the majority of the work.

I had seen that part before in the numerous competitions where children were supposed to have done the majority of the work. Tara has always done her own competition entry, with me looking on adoringly at her efforts and chipping in where absolutely necessary. Needless to say Tara has never won anything. Her Christmas card entry was the cutest snowman near a wobbly tree, but the winning entry was an amazing three dimensional, work of art with impeccable handwritten words emblazoned on it. Other times there were caption contests with very creative captions. The winning masterpieces are obviously done by the parents or we have some genius five year old kids in Tara's class.

This is nothing new. It happened even when I was in school. So what is going on here? If I was a judge at a children's school, I would really look at the work, and pick some little child who has taken a lot of time and effort, and poured his or her heart and soul into their craft.

On the other hand...welcome to the real world my little Tara. Honest work is sometimes not the only criteria for success and credit is sometimes not attributed to the deserving. I was tempted just for a second to get out there and buy the best crown money could buy and have Tara touch it with a brush before I submit it as her own. Having allowed myself the luxury of that wicked thought, I let it go. I don't need an ego boost, and what lesson would Tara learn if I did that?

So it's back to the drawing board for Tara and I. I'm sure we will make the best crown Tara can possibly imagine....and most important of all? Tara will wear it with pride.

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