Talk about a spirited debate …
Just Google the question, “Should kids get trophies for participation?”, and the first page yields headlines like “Losing Is Good For You” and “Hell YES all the little league kids should get trophies!”
I remember collecting a shelf full of participation trophies from years of playing YMCA soccer. Did they make me who I am … or spoil me rotten?
On the ‘No’ Side
“No,” says Stanford psychology professor Carol Dweck. Kids should not be given trophies simply for participating, she says. Dweck explains her answer with an anecdote from a mother she’d recently spoken to.
“Her daughter rarely showed up for her soccer team. She had a terrible attitude,” Dweck says. In spite of that, “at the end she got a giant trophy and would have been devastated had she not.”
Dweck concedes a child shouldn’t have to be the best player on the field to get a trophy, but it should reward something, like improvement or team spirit.
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