Where do kids learn all this?

Recently I accompanied my younger son Ananthajith (age 7 years) for a badminton tournament at a club.  In the semi-finals, he was to face another boy of the same build.  The format for the semi finals and finals is best of 3 matches of 21 points each.

There is a provision for a small water break after 11 points and at that point of time, the other boy was leading.  Post break, Ananthajith started reducing the lead and in fact was leading over the opponent.  At that juncture, the other boy held his stomach and started crying as if he were suffering from cramps.  All of us were concerned about his health and suggested he take some rest before resuming.  After a while, he came back but lost the first game.

In the second game, when Ananthajith was leading, this boy again started tying his shoe laces quite frequently and then the match referee cautioned him against doing it.  He played that game well and won it.  Now the stage was set for the decider game.

Again when Ananthajith was leading, the other boy was again found crying holding his stomach but this time the match referee asked him to either continue the game or forfeit and refused to give him any time.  Even when I intervened on that boy’s behalf, the referee told me that the rules do not permit such breaks.  I felt that the referee was too tough on an 8-year-old boy.  Soon the other boy was leading and even thought the two were engaged in long rallies he did not show any signs of fatigue leave alone stomach cramps.  Again when Ananthajith was leading by a point or two, he stopped the game to tie his laces but the referee told him to start playing.  Soon the scores were level at 20 and the winner would need a clear two point lead.   The other boy won the game 22-20 and the match 2-1.

Everybody who watched the game including the referee felt that Ananthajith should have won but by breaking the rhythm his opponent got the better of him.  I was left wondering who taught the boy to pretend stomach cramps or tie the lace whenever he was trailing.  Or was it his innate instinct to win the game by any means?

I still do not have an answer



  1. Ram said,

    March 1, 2011 at 5:07 am

    Parenting, Coaching, Social Upbringing, What else?

    BTW, thanks for sharing.

  2. badrirag said,

    March 1, 2011 at 5:29 am

    Ram, that was a quick and pointed response. we need to be very careful about what we say and what we do because our kids are always watching us.

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