By Mia Carella of thismomwithablog.com
“I was devastated,” said Ella Jones*, mother of 5-year-old, Alyssa. “I could not believe someone would actually do something like that.”
Mrs. Jones is referring to the calamity that sadly affected her family recently. Upon completion of a season of tee ball, Alyssa was presented with a trophy acknowledging her participation in the program, despite the fact the child’s team did not win any games.
“Alyssa has not been the same since,” Jones stated as she choked back tears. “I’ve noticed her confidence has improved, but I fear she has lost her motivation to be better than everyone else. She did not have a meltdown when her team lost that final game. It was like she just enjoyed playing even though they didn’t win. She seemed like she actually meant it when she congratulated the other team. I have a bad feeling that Alyssa is going to settle for mediocrity for the rest of her life because of [the trophy].”
Unfortunately, this situation is far too common in today’s society. More and more parents are reporting their children being acknowledged for their participation and effort in various activities, rather than for being the best. Anecdotal evidence has shown this can lead to pride in one’s accomplishments, lower stress levels and more enjoyment of activities. As is apparent in Alyssa’s case, this practice has grim implications for the future of this generation.
According to the Interweb, rewarding children for their hard work and commitment can lead to a host of problems. A quick search of Google will reveal endless thoughts on how detrimental this can be. Parents Opposed to Rewarding Young Children for Effort and Dedication in Sports and Other Voluntary Extra-Curricular Activities is a local activist group, and its members are strong supporters of the anti-participation trophy movement. They report that these problems can include, but are not limited to: feeling entitled to more participation trophies, complacency with being a loser and the desire to mooch off one’s parents until at least 35 years old.
“I don’t think I will ever forgive that coach,” Jones declared. “This has had a lasting effect on my daughter. I don’t know what the future will look like for Alyssa now, and I’m scared to find out.”
*All names have been changed to protect the identity of those involved.
About the Author
Mia Carella is a stay-at-home mom who lives with her husband, their two children, and their dog. She likes reading, writing and spending time with her family. She dislikes cooking, cleaning and adulting in general, but absolutely loves being a mom. Her work has appeared on HuffPost Parents, Scary Mommy, Parent Co and more. Find more from her on her website, thismomwithablog.com, and on Twitter and Facebook.