You’re a Winner…Just Because You Tried

It has always been a given that life will constantly have its ups and downs. Sometimes you can try your absolute best but that still may not be good enough. Many kids fail to grasp this life lesson because at a young age they are taught that the only way to succeed is to keep succeeding and to never fail. This concept is instilled at such a crucial point in their life that by they time they get older its hard to get rid of.

A majority of this problem is based on parents constantly giving their children rewards for the littlest and unnecessary things. It is understandable that parents just want their kids to be acknowledged for the good that they do in order to encourage the behavior and keep them motivated but that’s not the way to do it. Kids need to learn that failure is a key part to success and that winning or getting recognized is not always going to happen. Getting handed a trophy even after losing, teaches children that failure doesn’t exist because even if they lose they still win.

Author Ashley Marryman, seconds this notion by agreeing with the idea that handing out trophies for everything undermines kids’ success. She also claims that the purpose of competition isn’t to win but to improve. If a kid were to lose a game, yes they would be bummed, but they would also be motivated to win the next one; if they were given an award right then and there they would think that’s all the effort they need to give in order to get the big prize in the end.

Back in elementary school and middle school, teachers and coach would always hand out so many award certificates for unimportant things that each one became less special than the one before it. I now have a collection of them in my attic and not once do I ever look at them and feel like those awards shaped who am today, they only awards that I admire are the ones I got when I worked hard for something. They are so many people that are just given awards, ribbons, or gifts just by attempting to do something and putting in a small amount of effort. A majority of that should just be expected, there shouldn’t have an award for it; there is no way one can learn to improve if they are given praise before they even accomplish the real goal.

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