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The Fun Of It

I saw a friend post this week on FB about how her child made a batch of zucchini bread from scratch, and someone commented “get her on the Whatever Kids Bake Show.” I’m in an online book group — a FB group where people recommend books — and every once in a while someone prompts everyone to post their progress. Like 25/50! I guess if you are challenging yourself to read more, that could be motivating. But I’m thinking if people are already in a “reads” group, and already reading like more than 30 books in a year, that’s already a pretty strong reader.

Why is everything a competition? Why does everything have to have a goal? Can’t baking zucchini bread just be about *eating* zucchini bread? Can’t reading just be about enjoying reading, and not “winning” at reading? Were people always this competitive? I know my cousin was. Still is. When she was 8, she went down the street to play Barbies with a friend. When she came home, my aunt asked how it went. My cousin said “Good! I won!” We never learned how to win at Barbie’s and I don’t know how to win at reading. It is ironic that I own a shirt that says “reading is my favorite sport” (got it at the scholastic book fair the last year I chaired it, natch) and I still don’t know how to win at reading.

My kids opted out of youth sports a while back, when it stopped being “fun” and started being too competitive. Sometimes I wish they stuck with it - team sports are good for kids, and exercise is good for kids, and goal-setting is good for kids, etc. etc. And now they’ve opted back in for Freshman Football, where everyone gets a spot and while it’s certainly competitive, it’s also mostly goal-setting and exercise and routine and fun. I’m excited to be back on the sidelines this fall cheering them on. Non-competitively of course.

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