This vent was such an awesome topic, we had to make it our next response.
My child is 6 years old. He recently finished soccer and was awarded with a trophy. The league doesn’t keep track of wins or losses and is very non-competitive. I’m an old school father that was raised on old school parenting. We didn’t celebrate just showing up for something. We celebrated victory. I’m writing to you because my wife thinks I’m being ridiculous for not wanting to give the trophy to my son. You obviously know what my opinion of the matter is from what I just told you about my up-bringing. This looks like the type of place where I could get some unbiased feedback so what do you think?
Sincerely, The Competitive Parent
Dear “Competitive Parent”,
This is actually a very popular concern modern parents are facing. In a way just like there were generations named, “baby boomers”, “millennials” etc.. We here at V4S have coined the children of the “millennial”… The “Participation Trophy” generation. Most people who know the “millennial” generation, know that they depend heavily on technology, equal rights and constant opportunity. Often times this pairs with the liberal thought process of “let’s all hug, get along and be rewarded for trying our best”. This makes the older generations cringe because they know that out in the “real world” none of those things will happen to them. It’s a cutthroat world full of deception, lies and worse. To think that you will be praised for showing up to work or rewarded for the simple fact that you “tried” is an absolute joke.
Now to relate this to a 6-year-old child’s soccer trophy… That’s tricky. While we agree with your overall mindset of not wanting to coddle the child or make that child think that all they have to do is show up to win an award, we don’t think 6 years old is the appropriate time to apply this thought process. The child is simply too young to understand. Often times competition is lost on the average child at 6 years old. If it were up to I, you could praise the child to build their self-confidence and then upon earning one of those “real trophies” you could start removing the “participation trophies” from the shrine…
Remember, while you are setting the right example initially, it may be a bit much for a child so young. It’s very important to instill them with self-confidence first before you start explaining what things are worth celebrating.