Post # 1
Please don’t follow the “everyone gets a trophy just for showing up” fad. You see all kinds of sports programs and other things where EVERYONE wins, nobody keeps score, etc. They are designed to “build self esteem.” They are damanging your child’s ability to succeed in life. The kids that grew up during this fad are hitting my college classrooms now. They can’t (or don’t) study because they expect that no matter what score they earn, they will get an A. At the same time, colleges are cutting down on what they call “grade inflation” that is teachers caving into pressure to give good grades just to cut down on complaining. As a result of wide-spread grade inflation more employers are devaluing high GPAs or even the Bachelor’s degrees altogther (notice how many employers want Master’s degrees at a minimum?). So, as a result professors are giving students the grade they EARNED (and for many, this will be the first time this ever happened to them). Oh, the scandals that ensue. The crying, the yelling, the threats, the telling the dean (which does not work), the conspiracy accusations, the trashing on facebook and rate-your-professor, etc. Then when it keeps happening to them, they think the world is against them and they can’t go on (as in they can’t finish school). Please don’t do this to your kids. Self esteem does not come from always winning, it comes from working hard and earning something. It comes from dignified losing and trying harder next time and then seeing improvement. Sheltering your kids from reality only delays their entry into reality and then, I think, makes the blow much harder to take. Kids are reslient, ill-prepared adults – not so much.
Post # 3
I have to disagree. Back to the sports/trophy part- I think that’s such a terrible analogy. I can remember playing t-ball as a little girl and I was really tiny and shy and nobody ever let me play. I would always get picked last for the kickball team during PE. And then, in gymnastics, i wasn’t the best. I did, however, show up to every match/game and practice that I was supposed to attend and I practiced at home (even if it didnt show because i was terrible and incredibly quiet and shy). The day I got a trophy with my name on it for Gymnastics was probably the happiest day of my life at that point. It was never fair that I wasn’t as good as the other kids, but I showed up and did my part- even if that meant sitting on the sidelines and going unnoticed.
My parents would always tell me I was the best though. No matter how much i practiced, I never got any better at sports. I loved that the built me up though.
I turned out to be pretty successful.
Do you have children?
Post # 4
And also, in the Upwards Sports Leagues, there is no score and everybody wins. It’s a Christian organization and I think it’s great for team building and self-esteem. That way, nobody is a “loser” the next day at school.
Post # 5
I think there is a difference between applying yourself in school and in sports. I’m horrible in sports so I almost never was picked near the beginning for teams. I was in some leagues where ‘everyone is a winner’ when I was very small but I still understood the value of working hard for my grades in school.
Post # 6
i agree with @evalague. life isn’t “everyone wins” and i don’t think you should raise your children into thinking that’s the truth. you win/succeed when you work hard. losing is a part of life and no matter how much it sucks, they’ll have to learn it at some point.
Post # 7
These are KIDS we are talking about. I see nothing wrong with not keeping score in sports. Sports, when you are children, are suposed to be fun. I am amazing in school and was always shy (after my parents divorce and move) and it was horrible to be forced to play sports when I all ready had no self esteem. I think people get way too wrapped up in sports, personally. It also depends how old these kids are. Sports can teach you the value of striving to be better, and that it pays off, and that is a valuable thing for life. However, to each his own. If I had a kid that just wanted to be out there, like I did, and have fun, and not have the feeling they had to be perfect and have people yelling at them when they didn’t win- I would let them join that league- sports can be fun! As an adult, I enjoy playing sports and games where we don’t keep track, and just enjoy one another and our time having fun. Also, some kids have damaged self esteem all ready- and are afraid to partake in sports because they feel any love they get is from being perfect, so they don’t even try to step out on the field. Being in a welcoming environment where you dont have to be perfect would be good for them, and for the kind of kid I was. It all depends where you are coming from.
Post # 8
I know so many college profs with exactly the same feelings. Students think because they studied they should get a good grade. In that way it is the same as sports – you work hard, you’re not good, but you get a trophy. I did my share of sports and music when I was a kid and I knew how good I was compared to others (somewhere in the middle). The winner should be the person who was the best. And if I wanted to work harder to be better that was fine. It may not be fair that the little kid doesn’t get picked in kickball, but the not-so-good student won’t get picked to go to Harvard either. Kids should get used to that, and they should find an area they can excel in and enjoy, rather than being rewarded for hard work with mediocre performance. It’s okay to get B’s and C’s in some classes (if you try really hard) so long as you are getting A’s and loving other classes.
Post # 9
It isn’t a matter of enrolling your kids in the program it is the way parents handle the outcome. I own a business where a trophy is given to each child for completing the year. Kids do have to finish the year to receive the trophy and it is part of learn to follow through on a commitment.
It isn’t always the organization that is to “blame” it is how the parents react to the situation in my opinion.
Post # 10
i think i would have to completly AGREE!! i see so many children with no morals, values, or even motivation… i think that there are also problems leading to this, but the ‘everyone wins’ thing is also a contibuter! my son knows that when he does great, we will let him know.. and that when he does porely, we come up with ways to be better next time… it has the same idea as cleaning your room.. my 5 year old cleans his own room.. when he does a good job, i tell him ‘you did a really good job cleaning your room! you wanna try and do it again tomorrow just as good?” and if he half-asses it i tell him “you did a good job putting away your stuffed animals, but you stuffed your dirty clothes in the closet. you should get those clothes and toss them in the hamper so you don’t have to worry about it later, and tomorrow we will try to remember to get them out.” positive reinforcement is a great thing.. but your shouldn’t positively reinforce negative, or not positive actions… maybe it’s just us @evalague! lol
Post # 11
sports vs education….totally different. I dunno, i wanted to win when i played. I didn’t like losing–nobody did. It brought a competitive nature in me. I think everybody getting a trophy and “oh let’s have fun” is a joke….in the sports arena. Sometimes you have to go home, feel like a loser, strike out 8 times, and say, “you know what, I WILL get better”. Or find a sport that you’re good at. Last i checked, kids don’t like sports they suck at. Then again, I played in a competitive sports league. If you weren’t good, you got cut. Maybe the kids who got cut went to programs where everybody wins. I don’t see anything wrong with offering them…not all kids are good at sports. But I don’t see how a little competition and drive to improve yourself is a bad thing. Then again, everybody in my family (and DH’s familiy) is fairly athletic. I was 5’9″ at 13 years old–there was no getting around it =]
I will say I’ve had my fair share of college classes that were SO DIFFICULT that the class average was a whopping 45%. Somehow we all passed with B’s. So the professor didn’t look bad. And you know what? can’t say I feel good about knowing I essentially failed a class and got passed JUST so it didn’t reflect poorly on the professor. My thought was that maybe the professor should make the course manageable so we actually learned something. Now, these were graduate engineering college courses–I really have a hard time believing the students in these classes were not intelligent or unmotivated.
But i have to say, I do agree. Unfortunately, real life has winners and losers and I don’t think it’s a bad thing for kids to learn that.
Post # 12
evalague, I’m with you! I coached track for 10 years and even though every kid got a small participation trophy, I always gave out the special bigger trophies to kids that earned it! You have to have an MVP, Most Improved, etc to give kids something to work for! If everyone gets a trophy and everyone always wins…what is there to strive for in life? I feel that mentality puts kids at a disadvantage, if you always win then how will you be prepared in the real world where we don’t always win?
Post # 13
I 100% agree! I personally think that is ridiculous that all kids playing a sport should get a trophy. It is just the same as saying all kids that attended high school should get a scholarship to college just because they showed up and passed.
Not everyone who tries will succeed. It is what you do with your failures that make you the person you are.
I vividly remember one year playing softball (which I later got a college scholarship for) that I did not make the all american elite team after a terrible preliminary round of tryouts and another girl that was a friend of mine did and the next day was her birthday and she and a few friends including myself were going to spend the day at her home. I went home and cried about how I didn’t want to go to the party and I didn’t want to see her because she got my spot on the elite team. My parents literally told me to suck it up because there will always be people who are better than you at some things and it is not her fault I didn’t make the team. I am so glad I learned that lesson early in life that you cannot blame others for your short comings. I think that competitive sports are excellent character builders and the every child wins equally is complete pointless and has potential to really delay childrens development.
Post # 14
@brittanymichelle – it sounds like you’ve got the positive reinforcement thing down pat – I hope I can do that with my kids
I agree with all who said sports are supposed to be fun – that means you don’t need a trophy and you can be terrible, but you still enjoy it
Post # 15
I’m not sure that giving out trophies to 5-year-old teeball players is what makes kids grow up to be useless whiners in college. There’s got to be more to it than that. First of all, kids aren’t stupid. They know the difference between a trophy you get for winning first place and a trophy you get for showing up and paying the entrance fee.
I think the real problem is that high school is just too easy. That’s why kids can’t handle college when they get there. They’re used to school being a joke and to getting straight As just for showing up. I don’t know how to fix that problem though. I’m just saying I don’t think little league sports trophies are the culprit.
Post # 16
This is how I feel about my high school diploma! Worked my behind off, graduated 7th in my class, but it doesn’t matter. Everyone else got one, too, and now I’m competing against them for the same jobs.