This year, at the end of the year dance recital, my kid didn’t get a trophy. In fact, only 3 kids got them. Out of 130. And those three kids were super deserving. And so was my kid. But she didn’t get honored. Because this just wasn’t her year.
And you know what? I’m glad she didn’t get one.
Too often, our kids think they need to be rewarded for participating. I see it in the classroom all the time – I came, I turned in my assignments, I should at least get a B. Yeah, in case you didn’t know, “B” is the new “C”. And for all of you parents of teens – it’s not preparing your kids for college. Where you have to pay for classes. And the professors don’t care if your kid “tried hard” or “cared at the end” or “is capable”. If they don’t show up and perform to a certain standard, they fail. And if you want credit for the class, you will pay for them to take it. Again. No refunds.
But I digress. A little.
Sometimes, you just have to work hard. And play. The point of the experience of the soccer, basketball, football, etc, team is to, well, learn to be on a team. To be a part of something. To work, collectively, for a goal, using all of the gifts and talents of the people around you. In my community, there is a youth soccer program that doesn’t keep score, doesn’t have ‘losers’ and at the end of the year banquet, every kid gets a trophy. Because every kid is a winner, you know.
I think what disturbs me more than the everyone gets a trophy mentality is the attitude of the other kids and parents when their kids are not recognized. Last year, my daughter received an award at the end of the year recital. Another kid in her class snatched it out of her hands backstage and said I should have gotten one, too! This kid’s mother also decided not to have her kid dance this year because her kid didn’t get any sort of recognition. They were four. What are we teaching them at such a young age? Too often, kids are taught that life is a competition and they should see themselves as being better than the other kids on their team, in the class, on the field, on the stage instead of accepting the gifts and talents that they have and it is the collective use of these talents that wins – not the talents of the individual.