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May 25, 2012


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When I initially commented I clicked the "Notify me when new comments are added" checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get several e-mails with the same comment. Is there any way you can remove people from that service? Thanks a lot! - VISIT X

HA! Outstanding! I am so far past stroking egos and children are no exception when it comes to things like teaching to lose gracefully or realistic expectations.

My children should not be rewarded for the sake of being rewarded. Those trophies are more for the parents than the children. Parents are the ones who bitch and moan when their kids don't get them.

These are the same selfish people who insist on Easter egg hunting with their kids so they can pick up the eggs and fill their kids baskets for them. or don't stop them when they have gathered enough candy from a pinata.

LOVE!!!! And right beside ya sister! "Congratulations for NOT doing well?" What are people thinking? I've found disappointment is a wonderful motivator. My kids will WANT it more next time when they see what they've missed out on.

I'm really glad to see that everyone's comments are in agreement. The people giving out the trophies think they are going to raise the kids' self-esteem by giving them all trophies. But in reality, kids aren't stupid and they know those trophies are meaningless. Their self-esteem will be raised more by overcoming obstacles and achieving personal success.

Lord, yes!


I have boys 8 & 11 who have played sports since they were three. All four seasons sometimes. Let me just say we have a lot of trophies. They are usually part of the fee to play on the team, so there is no option. BUT, we put up small trophy shelves for each child. IF they EARN an award it can stay there as long as they like. If they are GIVEN one, it can stay until it gets a replacement. This year's baseball trophy replaces last year's trophy. They get the difference.

100% agree with you. Trophies should be special. I rode horses competitively growing up, and some days I came home with a trophy, and some I didn't. Sometimes it was my fault; sometimes it wasn't. Them's the breaks. I learned how to work really hard at something I loved, to take the good with the bad, and most importantly, have a fantastic time (at least most of the time), and just roll with it. The trophies and ribbons are in a dusty box. The memories are shining and clean in my head.

My 11 year old son has been playing team sports since age 4. He has played rec, instructional and competitive baseball and basketball, and he has so many damn rewards it is ridiculous.
We've had to work hard to combat the "Everyone's a winner" modus operandi we encounter in most every kid activity. Our son is smart, and so far, understands what BS it is to earn a reward for showing up, or being average, or because someone doesn't want to hurt someone else's feelings. He's been in band for the last two years, and is heading off to arts school for middle school. He has learned more about success, failure and self-motivation from music, than from any sport he has played.


Right on, Kristen! Also, what Rock-a-Bye-Baby Gifts said! And much more succintly than I could have.
And don't forget the young adults who feel entitled to a paycheck, but don't want to work.
This is totally one of those "Do't Get Me Started" topics lol. So I'll stop now :)

I am a crazy mean mommy in this regard. I have no compunction whatsoever about telling my kids that I don't think they did their best, that they could have tried harder. I did it last weekend after the kids' triathlon. I'll do it again this summer after swim meets. I did it when I looked at the homework in their Thursday folders this year and every year past. I'll do it next year too, and the years after that.

They need to know when they're putting out their best effort, yes. But they also need to know when it's clear that they're not.

Kids aren't stupid. It's like everyone knows, even at an early age, who is in the top reading group and who is in the lower one, even if you call the groups "The Elephants" and "The Tigers." Kids know. They also know when trophies are earned and when they are BS. The only thing kids learn from getting a trophy for just showing up is that adults are silly.

Im 100% against making people feel better about themselves by awarding losing. I don't want to throw out political and socioeconomic blah blah blah, but I think it fits here. Giving every kid a trophy is akin to a socialistic state. It reduces everyone to the lowest common denominator. Eventually the kids who win might feel they don't even need to try as they are going to be rewarded anyway.

I had a philosophy professor who had gone to Russia to work on houses a long time ago, and as an American he had the mindset to work hard, and get the job finished. During lunch break he would quickly eat his lunch and get back to work, and he noticed that not only were the local workers making fun of him for his effort, most of them were actually upset. He didn't understand this until later, but in the communist/socialist environment, no one was rewarded for working harder, everyone was equal so there was no point.

If we give every kid a trophy, we are instilling the mindset that it no longer takes hard work to be rewarded, and thats just going to hurt us all in the end.

This is going to be hard to stop, but if you want to take this on at an individual level I have a solution for you. Parents rejoice, and you turn those unearned trophies into this --> http://www.countryliving.com/crafts/projects/vintage-trophy-wine-stoppers#slide-2

I woke up and scooped out some yogurt in a bowl for The Boy.

Where's my trophy?

The only real self-esteem we have has been earned from NOT winning. From NOT getting a trophy. It's come from falling and down and figuring out that we can get back up again. I'm with you 100%

I'm so with you on this one! I've noticed more and more activities doing them. Kids shouldn't expect awards for simply attending. It's achieving that needs to be awarded. It's like getting a diploma because you attended school instead of earning good grades and passing. Parents that think kids deserve a trophy are setting them up to be mediocre instead of striving to excel in my opinion.

"When everyone's special, no one is."

Amen! As my husband - who is a 5th grade teacher & coaches your sports says - these days kids expect instant gratification win or loose. It's frustrating & what does that teach them?

When these kids start working in real jobs, things start to unravel for them. I know from friends who work in retail where a lot of us got our start. It isn't pretty.
I'm all for a shirt, or a participation medal (hell, I am looking forward to the first race I run where I can get one of those!) but I don't get the trophy thing. Just one more piece of cheap junk to try to find room for.

My son has played t-ball for a year (he was 3 when we started...yeah, that was interesting) and they received a medal of participation at the end of all 3 seasons. Part of me worried that he would expect a trophy for every little thing, but his face lit up so much for that tiny gold circle on a ribbon, I stopped worrying.

Plus, last night was his last game this season and we had to miss it. Stupid strep throat. He didn't even whine about a lack of a medal, so that made me feel better.

Maybe take your son out to dinner, one on one (hahaha!), to celebrate a good season or trying hard?

Getting trophies for just showing up is for pussies. If I expected to get paid just for walking into my office, we'd be living in Section 8 housing in southwest Atlanta right now.

My kids just finished "Olympics Day" last weekend at gymnastics. Everyone got medals with the gym's name and the year on it, as kind of a commemorative thing. After all was said and done, my 4 year old said "Mommy, where my trophy?". The competitive teams at our gym had a few state and regional champs this season and he's seen the trophys on display. I explained to him that the trophies are for the teams who compete and win and if he wants one he'll have to work really hard and practice so he can compete and win someday. It's just funny that he didn't see getting a participation medal as the same thing as getting a trophy! We constantly explain to both kids that in competitive sport, not everyone can win. We also teach them that being a good sport when you don't win (both of mine HATE losing) is just as important as being a graceful winner.

I couldn't agree with you more. My kids just started 4 and 5 year old t ball and I haven't been able to ask if they are getting anything at the end. Participating and doing your best should be the prize, not some cheap hunk of metal.

Such wisdom here, Kristen. We don't need to be constructing an experience perfectly modeled after the adult experience. Just let'em play ball for cripe's sake.

You are so right. Kids grow up with huge expectations these days and then get a shock when they start work, work really hard and get a crap paycheck. Welcome to life. We need to manage their expectations from an early age and you are doing just that.

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