Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Do they deserve it??

Ok, my son is 13.  He plays tackle football and lacrosse now.  Before he was old enough for tackle football he played flag football and soccer.  Every stinking year he gets a trophy!  Why?  He doesn't even understand why.  He doesn't feel he deserves a trophy because he only did his job.  He didn't stand out, he knows he didn't stand out and comments that he doesn't deserve it.  As a result these mean nothing to him.  Why do leagues charge so much to buy all this crap no one wants?  I can understand players leaving the league as they graduate to the high-school level receiving a trophy, plaque or medal to mark their years.  I can also support a player who truly shines in a season receiving a patch or other token.

These “also participated” trophies are ruining sports.  They cheapen every accomplishment.  Why should the kid who made 17 tackles in one season or 34 touch downs in one season receive the same token and recognition as a child who played the bare minimum and not even that well?
I am so tired of having to pander to children and parent’s ego’s.  There are some children who will NEVER succeed in sports.  There are some children who will NEVER be great academically.  There are some children who will NEVER have any clue how to work a power tool.

I feel that rather than placate people, level out playing fields whatever line it is they try to cram down parent’s throats…we should be fostering the talents children have in order to help them mature into successful proud teens, who later become successful proud adults. 

These trophies instill no pride in children who do not earn them.  I have trophies for things I did as a child and teen…I earned each of those…the ones I didn’t have to work as hard for do mean less to me.  They were “gimme” trophies and not worth as much because the competition was light or non-existent.   The most important praise I ever received for a role in school was a card I received from a Sister Paulissa, one of the School Sisters of Notre Dame in Chicago.  I treasure that card.  I regret never finding a way to track her down to tell her how much that meant to me.  I have had it for 24 years now.  That card means more to me than any praise my teachers, friends, Mom or the scholarship gave me.  That card meant I really touched one person in my life.

 To this day the proudest grade I recall receiving was a D in honors Chemistry in high school.  I didn’t have the math to back it up, I worked as hard as I could with no math skills to help me out on those molar equations but I passed.  The D was the happiest moment for me.  The A’s were important, but I didn’t have to work for those.

These “Gimme” trophies are destroying the pride children should be learning to feel in a job well done.  The pride of striving for something, the joy of winning inside, it’s being stripped away.  A D isn’t a win in most people’s eyes; a card is not as big a win as a scholarship in most people’s eyes.  They were wins for me because it proved I had something inside me…something I nurtured, some gift I had, something I worked for, something I did.

I would love to “just say no” to worthless trophies, make sure the kids know when things mean something and when they don’t then teach children pride in themselves.


krisz said...

I couldn't agree with you more. In addition, though, it's what's happening in the schools too. Grades are given not by merit, but passing the children before they're ready just so they aren't embarrassed. This is why so many children feel "entitled" to everything. They want to be praised for every little effort and granted every convenience whether it's necessary, possible or not. I suppose my inability to have my own child is a secret blessing to the child I would have possibly had - I'm a tough nut, and would have tough parenting techniques. Oh well, just wanted to share how much I couldn't agree with you more! :)

I just can't shut up said...

xoxo...and VERY true. Your "secret blessing" my be just that..a blessing. It's a travesty what children have to go through today just to grow into adulthood. I wouldn't have made it I don't think.