The urge that kicks in around age 5 – to be “first to put shoes on, first to get into the bath, first to get upstairs to brush teeth” – is perfectly natural. So why does the idea of competition make some parents nervous? While being first usually has positive rewards, both socially and physiologically, being last can be devastating. Not to mention that the part of the brain responsible for helping us cope with losing is late to develop. Here’s how to make sure kids are competing first and foremost against themselves.