Good Morning America came to my house last night to ask me about a hot button topic discussed this morning on the show.
James Harrison, football star on the Pittsburgh Steelers, is one tough linebacker. He also has drawn a hard line when it comes to parenting. On Instagram this past weekend, he reported that his 2 sons received “participation trophies” and that he was returning them.
“While I am very proud of my boys for everything they do and will encourage them till the day I die, these trophies will be given back until they EARN a real trophy” (photo). “I’m not about to raise two boys to be men by making them believe that they are entitled to something just because they tried their best. Cause sometimes your best is not enough, and that should drive you to want to do better…not cry and whine until somebody gives you something to shut u up and keep you happy.”
Harrison used the hashtag #harrisonfamilyvalues to punctuate his point.
While many agreed with Harrison’s views, some also disagreed. Here’s what I think:
For some children who may have participation challenges due to social skills or shyness issues, a participation trophy can be a tangible way to encourage those children to participate more and celebrate their participation. For most other children, they don’t need participation trophies and can, in fact, learn important social skills and sportsmanship from winning and losing.
As parents and teachers, here are some important tips:
(1) Disconnect the term lose from loser: As parents, we need to help children learn how to be a gracious winner and, just as important, that even when you lose, it doesn’t make you a loser. When a Read more