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Why do they all need a trophy?

trophies
Remember when you had to try out for the team or audition for the school musical—then, wait to see if you actually made it? Now, you just signup.

Everyone makes the team. Everyone gets to sing in the choir.

And, everyone wins a trophy.

Once upon a time, I practiced so hard to make the color guard. I spent days & days on repeat, preparing my song for choir auditions. I got to experience the thrill of victory when I earned a place on the school’s first softball team. I learned how to handle disappointment, when I didn’t get the part I wanted. I learned I had to work hard if I really wanted something. And, I took pride in my accomplishments & learned from my failures.

So, how did we get here? Where everybody makes the team. Everybody plays. Everybody wins. Even if they aren’t actually good enough. Even if they didn’t work hard. Even if they didn’t deserve it. Instead of building self esteem, I think it’s creating a sense of entitlement. Rather than kids who work hard for what they want, we have adults who whine when they’re child is left out.

We have kids who think they don’t need to follow the rules, since that would mean they lose. And, we have a closet full of trophies from Stacia’s soccer years—even though she only had one good season. What is so wrong with teaching kids that sometimes you win, and sometimes? You just don’t. Sometimes, it’s just not your forte. Sometimes, you have to work harder. And, that’s okay.

When Brenia was learning to knit, it was clear she wasn’t very good at first. Instead of praising her and showing off her first tries as if they were works of art, we encouraged her to keep learning. We gave her beginner’s needles. We bought her a kids’ knitting book. We reminded her to keep practicing, before attempting a real project. And, do you know what happened?

She kept trying. She worked hard. She learned. My kid? Can knit! And, she is so incredibly proud of herself. Her new hat hasn’t left her head for days. She knitted a matching scarf. Next, she wants to learn how to make mittens. If we’d let her continue making horrible washcloths with false praise, she wouldn’t have developed that skill—or the pride.

Because, deep down, she knew they sucked too.

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Article by justheather

Heather Sokol is the married mother of many amazing, active children through birth, adoption, and foster care. They have created in her a Sports Mom, Scout Mom, Band Mom, Dance Mom, Allergy Mom & avid coupon clipper. Is that miscellaneous enough for you? She shares her deals & tips at Inexpensively.com and reports progress on learning to be a grownup at JustHeather.com. justheather tagged this post with: Read 94 articles by

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  1. […] Why do they all need a trophy? from miscellaneous Mom – yes, this is from February, but I love it and wanted to share it anyway! Print Friendly Share and Enjoy: […]

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