The constant effort by individuals and schools to neutralize brilliance, to bring down competition to make the average kids “feel” better about themselves and protect them from the “feeling” of failure is ridiculous. The proponents of “everybody gets the trophy” are growing rapidly. To rob the sense of achievement from the kid who has worked hard to get there is purely evil. This is the case where people demand equality not equity.
These parents do not mind the wrath of jealousy being unleashed at a kid better than theirs; pushing their own children to become bitter and angry people who covet every good thing the other kid has.
Jeaolus parents` message to their children is: if you do not have what you want, it is the fault of the one who wanted it enough and worked hard to have it. If you do not have what you want, there is a simple solution to get over the discomfort, simply blame others or worse snatch it.
In my long practice as a mental health practitioner, I have banged my head against individuals who never accept that they might have certain limitations; they ostensibly hold the view that they are the chosen ones to be victimized and persecuted by others. Any scope of change comes to a screeching halt. Disowning responsibility is the sure shot way to never succeed. The most dreadfully difficult job for me is to hold a mirror to them and engage them in some form of self-reflection.
When parents think that their kids are amazing but could not succeed because of others you have a breeding ground for “victimhood”. It is here where the seeds of this self destructive trait are sowed. Such individuals then take upon themselves to speak for all victims. Victimhood becomes a right; the crusade is not to remove it, but to own it. It is difficult for parents to come to terms with the reality that their children are special only in subjective terms; they cannot impose this “special” status on the world, especially the global market.
This mentality of the parents who encourage “victim narrative” plays out terribly at the kids playgrounds. Such kids will snatch everything your kid has, every single time. A game is played within certain structure of give and take. The aim of such kids is not to have fun, the aim is to take over and decimate the other kid. Take, take, take.
Why? Because the victim mentality says “I am entitled to all you have, literally everything you own but I do not want to work for it”. Obviously when these kids become adult they cannot commit this day time loot. So the the tactics change. Victimhood is playing victim all the time and an attempt to oppress. These people can turn violent oppressors as well, history has plenty of examples.
The jealousy gets out of hand and destroys the genuinely nice kid, making him/her feel unsafe in the world. The kid will think that this is how the world is and carry this impression of the world as they grow up.
Parents of cruel kids do not check this behavior, why? Some I would say just do not have a clue how to address this, they have no tools or support. Some do not even realize it is a problem, others think it is okay – chalta hai, bache hai. However unfortunately some parents are driven by pathology – they are weak, coward or they derive a certain joy from their kids nasty behavior, as they say the apple does not fall too far from the tree. It is a form of getting back to the above average kid. “I cannot beat you in grades, in your cognitive ability, I will oppress you in the play ground” – plain and simple motivation.
So what should parents of kids do who experience this menace being set upon their young ones? Well, if the behavior stemming from jealousy is beyond the capability of the kid to handle, it is a completely new experience or too intense; do intervene. But I would ask parents not to make a habit to intervene in the playground, the rumble and tumble,being able to win and fight will give your kids a sense of accomplishment – the experience of being able to manage themselves in the outside world. It will raise their confidence in their own capabilities and make them less anxious and neurotic. This will build the ever so important characteristic: resilience. They will not be scared of people and interactions.
Of course the kid with victim mentality has no use of resilience. Anything that makes them less of a victim is repulsive.
Most of your work is when the kids come back from school or play. Talk to them, talk them through the events, listen to their emotions, let them express and then stimulate the “adult” in them. Every individual has a child, parent and the adult ego – the adult is the one who thinks rationally and finds solutions. Give them tools to deal with things at the playground. Give them permission to assert themselves and be a bit forceful. Tell them you have their back. For more sly pests who will come across sweet and play the victim card, work with them on how to use language to protect their interests.
With some kids you will have to patiently put in the bricks (tools) to deal with these pesky irritants, but you will soon find a wall of resilience and defense has been built, what a happy moment that will be? It will be the best gift you can give to your child. A gift that will help them navigate through life with a broad chest and fearlessness.