Updated: Aug 9, 2019
Should kids earn trophies?🏆 Should we reward participation by giving everyone a trophy? 🏆 Those questions have been asked by many parents, as kids don't come with instructions so there is no "sure" way to know what to do :). While it would be nice to continuously being able to reward "the best thing" ever happened to you for amusing you daily, the real question is: " By giving trophies for "showing up", what are we really rewarding?" and while we are at it: how do we reward those who did their best and worked hard?" There is no wrong or right answer, I think. Sorry, hope you were not expecting me to solve the dilemma.
Here is what I have. A thought to take into consideration about the trophies. "As adults we don’t get bonuses/promotions at work just for showing up". Even though, it would be nice, it doesn't work this way.
Parenting is challenging but I think as long as we teach kids to do their best and be ok if sometimes “best” isn’t enough to win and to keep trying, we will all be ok.
And one more thing, In 2015 The Washington Post published an article by Cindy Boren and I think it will be an interesting read on our topic.
James Harrison thinks kids’ participation trophies are worthless, sets off debate
Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison has never been shy about delivering big hits, whether he’s zeroing in on opponents or on NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell for fining him for those big hits.
His target this weekend? Those trophies that children get simply for showing up and playing, to whatever degree of success, sports. While the practice supports America’s trophy-manufacturing industries, they’re empty awards and Harrison went hard on the whole idea that someone would receive an award for not being the best, for not earning it.
Harrison wrote on Instagram:
“I came home to find out that my boys received two trophies for nothing, participation trophies! While I am very proud of my boys for everything they do and will encourage them till the day I die, these trophies will be given back until they EARN a real trophy. I’m sorry I’m not sorry for believing that everything in life should be earned and I’m not about to raise two boys to be men by making them believe that they are entitled to something just because they tried their best…cause sometimes your best is not enough, and that should drive you to want to do better…not cry and whine until somebody gives you something to shut u up and keep you happy.”
Here’s the hardware that his 8- and 6-year-old sons brought home:
Former NFL player Shawne Merriman backed Harrison on Facebook.