Competitions in School Popularity Competition or not?

Desiree - posted on 03/07/2012 ( 4 moms have responded )

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So now I have a 13 year old that I have just spent a good hour consoling thanks to a fancy dress thing at school day in celebraton of Purim (all I know it is a Jewish Holiday) and the school being a multi denominational school invites the kids to celebrate the different religions holidays together. So her we have the grade 8 in a Clown Theme, grade 9 as Hipies, grade 10s as monsters or whatever they were, grade 11 as Fairies ( the guys were really to funny for words) and the grade 12 were Witches and Worlocks. Anyway I couldn't find anything and Cat not liking the conventional Clowns I had to think of another type for her to be. So we settled on a European White Face or French Clown. You know the ones with the White faces and the tear on the face almost like a mime. Well according to the rearch I have done on the subeject they are the grandparents of the clown world.



Anyway to finish my story I spent the whole night making her costume and she looks lovely and very unusual. She gets to school and they decide to select the best dressed. Needless to say she didn't win she wasn't even considered by the teachers who were the judges and the kids that did hired thier costumes and one didn't have any make up. I don't say she should have won but I am fully aware that it was not a fair judgement if they picked kids purely for being their favourites and not on the merits of the originality and how they have embraced the theme. Why must everything in High school be about popularity and not about the merits? I forgot what I went through as a kid its like going back in time. All I have been able to do is make sure she congradulated the winners with a good show and didn't show them she was upset about it all. I am not the only mom feeling hurt for her child, but really fair is fair or Isn't It? I am trying to convince myself that the teachers don't know about the different types of clowns and the costumes for them. But somehow I am not doing a very good job of it at the moment.

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MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 03/07/2012

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As a mother of a teen daughter that has ADHD, she is NEVER picked for anything. Even if she is one of the best at whatever it is. From phys ed. to projects to best dressed. She has many friends but more often than not they are not in her class.



I too, was often discouraged and upset with it all. My daughter not being able to understand was always very heartbroken. She still is at times. Especially, when in phys ed. they allow the kids to pick their partner's, well she is rarely picked. they tell her she is too all over the place and can't do it well enough for them to "win". This weighs heavily on her confidence.



So, for the phys ed. issue, I wrote her teacher an email. Probably one of the longest he has ever received from a parent. I explained to him how important I feel phys ed. class is, as a kid I hated it! I don't want that to be my daughter. I explained that if the kids are left to pick who they want, then other's that also have value to provide during class often don't get to. For whatever reason, whether it is popularity, or gross motor skill levels, etc... It is hard enough being a teen girl and being side casted time and time again is not beneficial to them, it is detrimental to their confidence. He completely understood and called me to explain. He said he would change how the groups were formed and will try his best to ensure my daughter was not being left to the side.



In regards to "special" school functions, such as the one you have described. I have now changed how I respond. When my daughter comes home telling me of this "special" event and how she wants to participate. I let her know I fully support her but that she needs to understand that even if she feels she is one of the better ones in the group, she may not be picked and that she needs to decide if that matters to her, or if just participating means more.



I have explained that at times other's do not consider the importance of the actual event but rather pick those they "want" to win. I let her know, that as long as she is OK with that, then I support her being a part of it. If she is not picked, she cannot feel bad about it after, or next time she will have to forgo the event. However, if she doesn't feel up to it, I fully support her there too.



I truly do not agree with competitive things. Which is why I have never put her into anything that would require competition. She has been put into summer camps, swimming, Girl Guides and the basics of Gymnastics (before any competitions become a part of it). However, she is interested and wants to participate. I just make sure she understands all the implications that may come with it. She is more often than not, OK with it... I think it helps her, knowing that she may not be picked from the get go but that she did her damnedest in trying. ;)



ETA: Yep, life is not fair. Sometimes though, it makes sense to help them see that as they learn....

Jenni - posted on 03/07/2012

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It isn't fair and I know exactly what you're talking about. I've seen it time and time again... during competitions; school or other functions I've witness people that should have won... passed over for people the judges were "familiar with".



I went to a very large non-denominational church as a kid. We had a huge congregation and huge Sunday school program. Every year we'd put on a really awesome Children's Christmas play. Every year we'd try out for parts. The judges were church organizers or big figure heads in the church (I don't recall exactly what they did because I was a kid but I know *everyone* knew who they were in the church).



Anyways, they'd *always* pick their own children for the main roles in the play. It was so blatantly obvious that all the rest of us (who were pretty young at the time) made comments like: "why bother trying out? they just pick their own kids all the time". It was pretty sad and made me very angry as a kid. How can grown ups be so unfair and selfish? In church of all places where they're suppose to be setting an example! Not saying I was some great actor/singer myself. lol But the rest of us didn't even stand a chance.... and their kids weren't that good either.

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it's for this very reason that i didn't try in high school, haha. i knew i'd lose because i didn't know enough of the "right" people. my parents weren't teachers or doctors or policemen. so yeah...



but actually, i doubt high school teachers know a thing about the history of clowns. it's not something people really look into, i'm sure. even the history teachers, i really don't think they care about costumes too much. if it's cute or whatever (even if it's not original) then it's going to win. the idea behind it doesn't matter, sadly enough.

Amanda - posted on 03/07/2012

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Life isnt fair, and highschool is when we first start to fully understand this.

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