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A good game Unconditional self-acceptance

kidsparentschild2 years3 yearsFeuilletonchildrenkid4 years5 years1 yearRespect and be RespectedGameself-confidencestressrivalrysuppression of empathycheatunconditional self-acceptancelustself-acceptanceenvychessself-respectimmature

There was an air of concentrated silence while they were playing chess. After every three moves they turned the chess board around to make the game more balanced and they did this over and over again. The player on one side was the father and on the other side his small daughter. Their mutual time at the chess board was a place for learning strategic thinking, patience, empathy and last but not least gaining self-confidence and self-respect. They always played like this.

Until one day the small “Warrior” started a game determined to stay on one side of the board for the entire game. She was now big enough to realize the weight of her decisions. Her self-respect wasn’t based on whether she would win or not. This small marker of realizing her own worth began the closure of her childhood. She was beginning to unconditionally accept her own personality.

Once in a while the two of them met and played a friendly game. Until once, when he was an old man, and she the big “Warrior” she began the game by breaking the silence and offering, lovingly, to turn the chessboard around after three moves.


Written and inspired by the story of Taťjana and Pavel Kopřivovi from the basic course of Respektovat a být respektován 2012.


About competitions and children

I have been observing for more than a year what effect competitions have on my small, immature children. It has caused rivalry, stress, suppression of empathy, forced them to cheat, created lust and devastated their self-confidence.

I was able to identify the symptoms, but I wasn’t able to imagine what fundamental and long term effects they can have on an undeveloped psyche. Kopřivovi simply called it: “Comparative self-acceptance”. Simply said – valuing yourself on the basis of comparison to other people, without accounting for your own self-worth.

The competitiveness of children is taken to task in the book Siblings without rivalry from Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish. I took an important idea from the chapter, “The danger of comparing children”. “If we compare children in front of them (and even in a positive sense, for example, ‘Rýša always washes his hands before he eats without us reminding him.’), we create certain competition and rivalry. We insert a wedge not only between them but also between them and the rest of society.” This rivalry is carried on into adulthood.

A Game without rivalry Picture Lotto Upside Down

Author: Lenka Míkovcová

Translation: Marek Hubbell

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