Stop giving participation trophies


Hope Wills

Awarding children with trophies is a great idea since it makes them feel good about their hard work.

But participation trophies ruin the meaning of awards.

Giving participation trophies or awards to children makes the meaning of a trophy no longer special.

Each child receives an award just for being present, which is not a good lesson to teach them.

As children grow up, they need to understand and be taught that prizes are earned and should never be expected.

Prizes should be for the children who work hard to earn them, not everyone.

Some youth sports organizations hand out too many awards each season.

This plethora of awards could have been used for future generations of hard-working children.

In the past, trophies were considered a true honor to receive. Trophies were rare to find and expensive to make.

Now, they are mass produced, losing their value with time.

The constant recognition of a participation trophy no longer inspires children, only creating underachievers.

Children obviously respond positively to praise because it shows how special they are, how smart they are, and more.

But in the real world, not everything is given to you on a silver platter.

Some college students have seen an increase in narcissism and entitlement because they grew up with many participation trophies in their bedrooms.

These trophies show that people do not need to work for anything as they receive a golden participation medal instead.

If all you had to do was show up to class and get a credit, the future generations would not be problem solvers or critical thinkers.

We need thinkers; we need people to think outside of the box.

But if these children are given participation awards, they will not know how to deal with the first sign of difficulty and quit before they even start the true test of life.

This will either result in cheating off of someone or finding an easy way out to not deal with the stress of actually completing a task.

Children are not dumb when it comes to trophies.

It seems to be that these children know when someone is great at a subject or sport and when someone is falling behind and can’t understand it.

Sadly, those who are outperformed give up while the ones who do the work — and go above and beyond — give up for different reasons.

Not only do the underachievers give up, but the overachievers will feel like they didn’t work hard enough for their prize and feel like not giving their all again to only win the same prize as the underachiever.

We need to stop handing out so many trophies.

Give trophies to the children who worked the hardest, who stressed if they got the task right, who encouraged their peers to keep going.

As a society we need to teach the youth that losing does not mean the end of the world. It helps you find another route to curve the boulders in your pathways of life.