I’m not sure who started giving out “participation trophies,” but I would like to start a new movement…you get a trophy when you earn it…not just because you signed up for something.
Ok – I feel better. I had to get that out.
Our daughter is only 5 but already has a bookshelf lined with trophies from her soccer league in North Carolina. She’s 5. Sure she scored goals…but there was NO GOALIE! I remember looking at my husband before this past season started and saying, “we should tell the coach that we don’t want Giana to get a trophy.” But then we knew she really wouldn’t understand why all of her friends got a shiny statue and she didn’t. Before this season started here in eastern Iowa, she said to me, “I wonder what my trophy is going to look like this time.” ARE YOU KIDDING ME??
Some people think I sound harsh…but honestly, I think this “trophy generation” is in for a rude-awakening. We’re not giving them a reason to work hard…to push themselves. I could go on-and-on with a bunch of “when I was growing up” stories…but I don’t need to.
I have seen first-hand what happens when kids don’t learn how to deal with disappointment and failure…they grow up and enter our workforce.
When I was an anchor in North Carolina, there was an intern who started working in our newsroom…she wanted to be a news anchor. One day, she showed up to work wearing SHORT SHORTS and a halter top. Umm…this is a news station, not the club.
So, my boss…the NEWS DIRECTOR…told her to “go home, get changed into something more work appropriate or don’t come back.” She never came back. She said…and I quote…”He can’t talk to me like that.” Oh yes he can…he’s the boss.
Rejection, disappointment, failure…there’s no denying, it all sucks (for lack of better word). But, in the words of Frank Sinatra…”that’s life.”
And for the record, when I was a kid, all I needed after a long softball or basketball season was a high-five from my parents along with the words: We’re proud of you.