This TIME article was floating around Facebook last week and it finally got me to write a post that I have been thinking about for a while. I also feel like I'm more validated in writing it now that I have kids.
This "no kid left behind" stuff needs to stop. It's going to breed a generation of self entitled brats, you think this current generation is bad? Just wait...
Look, if you want to celebrate your kids achievements then go ahead, I'm not going to stop you. But don't force me to sit through an hour of phony awards and poorly written speeches from teachers just so your kid can feel special. YOU, as the parent, should be the one to make your kid feel special. That's not for anyone else to do, and the more people that make your kid feel special the more jaded they are going to be once they grow up.
Don't get them to parade around in front of a room full of other parents. This has nothing to do with your kid feeling special. This is for you. You are the one that is taking pride in these events. The kids don't care. Sure they get to dress up and be with there friends but they can do that at a friends house, or a birthday party. They don't care.
This also carries through to the "every kid gets a medal" pandemic. When I was growing up the top three winners or teams got a medal, that's it. Not every damn kid who took a step on the pitch, let alone the ones that sat on the bench the whole time.
If you didn't do well you didn't get anything (except maybe pizza if your coach was cool), that's how competitions work. Winners and losers. Those that excel and those that don't.
Losing is a key part of sports. You learn more in a loss than a win. It was that sort of pain and sense of loss that made you improve, try harder, do better. If you get the same praise as the people that practice 4 times a week then what is that teaching you? "It's fine, I can mess around and I'll still get something". Is that healthy? No, not at all!
I remember having to try out for our towns soccer team. We all did. Yes I got some static from the haters. Saying things like I'm only on the team because my dad's the coach. You know what, that's only partially true. Yes my dad was the coach, but he was the coach because he loved soccer and loved me. He taught me the game long before I was ever on a team. Those haters also helped build character.
One year my best friend didn't make the team. It was awkward. His dad called my dad. We didn't talk for like a few days. Guess what? He's still one of my best friends. Guess what? That has had no negative effect on his life since that week. You get over the pain, and get stronger because of it.
That's what losing teaches you.
That's what being picked last teaches you.
That's what sitting on the side lines while the other team gathers for their medals teaches you.
You grow and you get through life not expecting handouts for doing nothing.