Participation Trophies Should Not Be Given Out to Children

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  5
Wordcount:  1359 Words
Date:  2022-03-29

Since the early 1990's, participation trophies have become a central fabric of the society not only the United States but also in the rest of the world. Participation trophies are not given for scores achieved in the game, but just for being part of the game. Several researchers have pointed out towards the notion that participation trophies are not a reflection of any real achievement and can be detrimental to the kids' future(Berdan,2018).In today's world where trophies and participation ribbons have a commonplace in the shelves of every kid at home, other people support the idea that participation trophies will go a long way in encouraging the children to take part in sports and important activities(Keilman,2018).They argue that these trophies boost the self-esteem of the children they will feel like winners.This will encourage them to work hard. As result, the debate on whether children should be given participation trophies or not has been a protracted and a controversial one.Should they be given to children?What are the benefits of rewarding only a few players considered the best

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Participation trophies, medals, and ribbons are no longer a symbol of success and encourage children to be lazy.After all, they are going to get the trophies regardless of whether they work hard or not.The culture of giving out participation trophies is an insult to hard work as a moral value. Trophies used to be given to only the first, second and third positions. However, nowadays, they are common to everyone. Researchers have shown that people are motivated to struggle for more achievements through rewards. The participation trophies are therefore no longer a symbol for rewards for hard earned success. Giving out of these trophies to anyone will automatically lead to a reduced level of hard work, determination, and spirit of teamwork to achieve. As a result, this habit fosters the vice of incompetence and laziness.

The participation trophies discourage the development of teamwork and foster incompetence (,2018). Children who are given participation trophies will have a skewed perception of success. By giving participation trophies, everybody becomes a winner. Planning to reward the children with trophies long before games and important events are held will always kill the creativity and motivation of the children. The competing teams have nothing special to struggle for. As a result, they are more likely to give very little to outshine other competitors. The fact that trophies will always discourage children from trying to be the best should be acknowledged. Why try to be the best and yet everyone is a winner? Children develop a false sense of achievement. Incompetence is reinforced by constant rewards for jobs poorly done. The result is going to be an incompetent generation which does not pay any attention to details of success. The kids should, therefore, be trained to compete as this will foster creativity and innovation. This means doing away with all participation trophies.

A recent article published by Dr. Jonathan Fader, Ph.D. in the online publication, Psychology Today, reveals that giving out the participation trophies to children gives them a distorted perspective about life(Fader,2014). The children fail to learn the important lesson that failure is part of everyday life and that everyone must lose at some point in their lives. When the kids are thus subjected to failure later in their lives, they don't take it as a challenge but instead, start becoming discouraged.The reason why easily get discouraged later in life, as the research reveals, is the lack of rewards for failure. People learn habits by conditioning most of the time. And therefore, the children will always learn that they must be appreciated no matter their performance This means that failure should never be rewarded at any point in life. People learn habits by conditioning most of the time.

No one ever learns to correct mistakes by winning every day (Rose,2018). People fail to realize that failure is an opportunity to learn from mistakes done in the past. However, winning every day reinforces the idea that one is perfect. Hence no effort is made to try and learn from the mistakes done. Participation trophies make people proud of their mistakes. They are not likely to reexamine their lives for failing and therefore are bound to repeat the same mistakes in future. Participation trophies are the reasons why kids never learn to correct their flaws later in life, and it is high time they were entirely done away with.

Giving out the participation trophies to every winner and loser is the worst use of scarce funds. Teams and sports groups, for example, spend a lot of money buying hundreds of participation trophies every month for both the losers and the winners. Some teams have depleted their savings by purchasing these trophies which inspire a false sense of victory among young people.The funds can be used for training hard and equipping the athletes and those who participate in sports with essential skills.It is very misguided to use the money to reward failure.The funds can be used to provide better education to coaches and to take the players out on important educational trips.

The more these trophies are given out for participating; the more rewarding real winners become meaningless.The kids should be trained to look up upon the real winners.Success should be given real meaning by only rewarding a few.Those who win become unmotivated next time since everybody will be rewarded no matter the performance. Success should be given meaning. A highly respected researcher, who is also the author of the book titled "Top Dog: The Science of Winning and Losing," points out of the fact that the role of competition is always to add more skills and improve (Bronson & Ashley,32,2013).More and more participation trophies give encourage the children to be contented with their performance and will thus never improve.She goes on to point out the towards the fact it is better to completely withhold the trophies from six year old's and make them cry for them when they have not earned it than to have them losing 26 years later when they realized they are not as important as they had conditioned to be.

Participation trophies, however the little advantages they might have to the children, are completely detrimental for their long-term success. Some people have argued that giving out few trophies to the select best performers is more dangerous than rewarding the whole team with the trophies(Cook,2018).However, it would be more reasonable if children are taught right from the start that success is earned through hard work and not given out. They should be taught to learn from their failures and to improve progressively. Rewarding failure in children is the same as child abuse. They get a very warped perspective about life, only to be disappointed later when they are hit by the real world where losing is part of life(Wallace,2018). Resources and funds should be utilized well. If only the best performers were rewarded, teams and organizations would save a lot of money every season by only purchasing a few trophies and not hundreds of trophies for every one. Participation trophies should therefore never be given out to the children.

Works Cited

Berdan, Betty. "Participation Trophies Send a Dangerous Message." NY Times, 6 Oct. 2016. Web. 3 Feb. 2018.

Cook, Bob. "'Only A Few Win' Mentality More Dangerous to Kids Than Participation Trophies." Forbes, 9 Oct. 2016. Web. 7 Feb. 2018.

Keilman, John. "In defense of the participation trophy." Chicago Tribune, 16 June 2016. Web. 18 Feb. 2018.

Ross, Martha. "Should kids in sports get trophies for just participating?" Mercury News, 25 Sep. 2015. Web. 3 Feb. 2018.

"Should kids get participation trophies?" Debate, Web. 3 Feb. 2018.

Wallace, Kelly. "Does sports participation deserve a trophy? Let the parental debate begin!" CNN, 18 Aug. 2015. Web. 3 Feb. 2018.

Bronson, Po, and Ashley Merryman. Top dog: The science of winning and losing. Random House, 2013.

Jesse, Sanborn, "5 Reasons Participation Trophies Shouldn't Be a Thing."

The Odyssey Online. Web. 28 Aug. 2017.

Fader, Jonathan. "Should We Give Our Kids Participation Trophies?" Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers.Web.10 Sept. 2014

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Participation Trophies Should Not Be Given Out to Children. (2022, Mar 29). Retrieved from

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