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Kate Gosselin Asks: Are Parents Too Competitive?

kate in kitchenYou think the moms on Toddlers & Tiaras and Dance Moms are harsh? Just go to an average PTA meeting or school concert, and the real story becomes clear: Pushy, competitive parents are everywhere.

Kate Gosselin discovered this first-hand, as she writes in her blog for The Stir this week. Recently, her daughter Cara (one of her middle-school twins) participated in a school science fair competition. The goal: to create a bridge made of pasta that could bear as much weight as possible.

With the help of a family friend (“I can surely cook a mean pasta dish, but build with it? Not this momma!”), Cara constructed an impressive suspension model for the big night.

While Kate kept watch over her child’s creation to make sure it didn’t get bumped off the display table, she noticed that other parents were scrutinizing the entries carefully for any sign of foul play. “I heard grumblings from other parents – many of which had enthusiastically helped their children build, which was allowed – who felt that some of the bridges were not ‘within guidelines’ and should be ‘disqualified.’ ”

The mood must have been infectious; even Kate began to feel misgivings about the construction of some of the entries. But when she saw Cara laughing and hanging out with her classmates in the hallway, she realized that “it was the parents that took the contest much more seriously than the kids.”

As it turns out, no one was in violation of the contest rules, and the reality-star mom and her fellow parents lightened up and saw how ridiculous a cutthroat attitude can be. After all, the Nobel Prize in engineering wasn’t at stake.

Kate gives props to the moms and dads for caring about their kids’ school performance and showing their support. “It reminded me that we are all in this parenting thing together,” she says.

How about you? Have you ever seen the claws come out at your child’s school events — or felt a little competitive yourself?

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