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My Kid Is So Competitive/Or Maybe Its Us?

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I get so excited this time of year because everyone is in the Christmas spirit. There is holiday music and Christmas parties and the air is just filled with excitement. Not to mention that this is the time of year that my first child was born which only increases how special the holiday season is for me. We recently attended a gathering at a friend’s house where we were able to see beautiful holiday lights, have adult beverages (Capri sun on the rocks for me of course) and allow our children to play with each other. I have recently come to realize at these gatherings how much my son has grown and how much he loves to be around other children. His face lights up and he gets so excited that he squeals and jumps around. Another thing that I have noticed that happens around other children, especially older children, is that he immediately starts to imitate whatever they are doing, no matter if these actions are good or bad.

At this particular holiday party, we were reminded first of our son’s competitive nature and also that we are raising a future giant. My son immediately caught the eye of a young 14 month old, whom he stood face to face with, and he grabbed her out of excitement. I am not so sure that children, especially males, grow out of these qualities, but I am hoping the habit of grabbing the women you like will be something he only participates in during this time in our lives. As you get older those habits don’t seem as cute. Anyway, this young female child stood and walked very well, whereas my son only chooses to walk when he is pushing heavy equipment. When he isn’t pushing furniture around, his choice of transportation is crawling at warp speed and he also likes to ride the mommy and daddy express (that means we carry him). After a night of being surrounded by walking and running children, we returned home and our son immediately crawled to his walker and began pushing it around the house like he was training for a future marathon. He also capped off the evening with more than three instances of walking up to 6-8 steps, while eating bread and holding a carrot, I mean the kid is just brilliant! He just wants to prove that he can do it just like the other kids, only better. Hmm, this trait could be dangerous later in life.

No matter how often we intervene, our son seems to accomplish these milestones easily after the influence of other children. We have been prompting him for days to walk without the walker and it always ends in one of us carrying him or him crawling or his favorite choice; pushing his high chair around the house. I often wonder if this so-called competitive trait is nature or nurture. I am extremely competitive and will create a small contest in any situation that exists, even without my competitor’s awareness of the challenge. Now I am beginning to see this trait in my son. You often worry if you should curtail some of these characteristics if you can or how they will affect your child in the long run, but I realize that much of it is out of my hands. I am aware of my child’s aggressiveness in his interactions with other children sometimes and it is hard for me to determine how much I should intervene and just how much I can. He eagerly approaches other children without a hint of shyness which is something even I admire as an adult. I realize that as you get older and experience instances of negativity, you lose this care-free nature. The reality of this really makes me sad and I hope that my son doesn’t lose that spark, even if it scares the more subdued, quieter child.

Well, I hear the pitter patter of little feet. He is determined to master this walking thing by his big debut next weekend-his first birthday! His walker has never had so much attention and of course I am running after him like a mad woman trying to prevent a nasty fall. Who knows what we will accomplish by January? I’m thinking running hurdles or even pole-vaulting as a potential goal.

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