Think about this:
Imagine you are a parent and you are at your son’s’ final baseball game and your son is pitching in the bottom of the 9th inning and there are already 2 outs on the board.
He throws the first pitch. And boom. Strike 1.
He throws pitch number two. Strike 2. Now it’s all up to this last pitch.
He winds up and pitches! Strike 3! Hooray.
The kid batting is out and the game is over!
Your sons’ team just won!
Except something is amiss.
As they are passing out the trophies and awards they give every team the same “Great Job” trophy. Even though the opposing team just lost, they still got a trophy. Wait just a minute!
According to Mensjournal.com, “Trophies make kids feel like finishing in last place may be good enough.” Which is exactly true. Kids nowadays don’t have the same drive to win as kids did a decade ago. People would rather make their kids feel like a “winner” than for them to face the fact that they actually lost.
Where did William Edward Hickson famous quote go, which claimed, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again.” What happened to that? He clearly didn’t say, “If at first you don’t succeed, that’s okay you still get a trophy!” This alone teaches kids that by losing you will get the same reward as someone who purposefully works hard to do something. Something that absolutely doesn’t happen in life as an adult.
Now, yes, I do agree that getting a trophy can boost your self-esteem, like stated on mommyhastowork.com, “Glass awards and plaques will help change a child’s self-esteem for the better, encourage further development in a skill or quality that they have pride in.” So yes, they can help, yet in the end, getting an award for something you don’t really deserve can have a horrible effect on their work ethic and desire to advance in something. A pat on the back in adolescents can potentially turn into a huge slap in the face in adulthood.
Now I’m not saying kids don’t need or deserve trophies, but I think it is better when they don’t get them simply for playing along.
Kids need motivation to work hard, and if they can always count on winning then they won’t learn important lessons that will stay with them into their adult life. They will continue to think that losing and being bad at something is okay. Sorry, but it just doesn’t work like that.
So No. You don’t get a trophy if you don’t actually deserve it.
Makenzie is a mass communications major in Missouri. Follow her musings, fun research, and other postings at www.clearlymakenzie.wordpress.com.