How Young Is Too Young For Competition?
Recent baby races have me wondering if pitting our children against each other is a healthy decision.
The cities of Maple Grove and Lakeville recently held festivals. In Lakeville, it was Pan-O-Prog; in Maple Grove, it was Maple Grove Days. Each town hosted a "Diaper Derby" or "Crawl-a-Thon" as part of the festivities.
Let's be honest, a crowd of crawling babies is pretty much the cutest thing you'll ever see. So it's understandable why parents show up and why photographers click away. But is it healthy?
I seriously doubt the babies are getting anything from it, except maybe a ribbon to nibble on. So clearly the competition is for the parents. A win brings bragging rights, and then there's all that adorableness (Yes, that's actually a word.).
I fear baby competitions are part of a more pervasive trend of parents comparing milestones to prove their offspring are superior to others. An article on Parents.com says there are no report cards before school, so parents need to know if their children are reaching benchmarks when they should. The story also suggests that parents may compare their children to others out of fear: A child who is behind the curve could have a developmental disorder, such as autism.
If I had a child, I doubt I'd bring him or her to a crawling race. Someone would have to convince me that there was something my baby would get out of the experience, beyond scraped knees.
That's my opinion, but what do you think? Are baby or toddler competitions healthy? Explain your vote in the comments below.