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Everyone's a Winnah!
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We had a children's "Olympics" yesterday to commemorate Earth Day, with events like running, both individual and relay, "spear" throwing, and "fencing" with plastic light sabers. The children were sorted into age appropriate groups and there were food and potables for everyone.

I think the teens had the most fun, pretending to be wounded and throwing themselves on the grass, and hamming it up.

Everyone got trophies for being winners. Every. single. contestant. And therein lies my concern.

If children get "winners" trophies for every thing they do, how do they learn to deal with problems in the real world? How do they learn what their strengths are and what their weaknesses might be? How do they gain the courage to go on in the face of adversity and the wisdom to know how to judge their own abilities and build upon their own competences?

Everyone isn't good at everything. Losing in the spelling bee might just mean they weren't cut out to be secretaries. Not being picked for the team might be an opportunity to work with a child on the possible reasons and which seems most likely--it isn't always lack of skill; life is complicated.

I think we do children a disservice when everyone gets a "winner" trophy. I'd prefer to see a bright "participant" ribbon on every child, and appropriate recognition to the fastest runners (and maybe the most creative dramatic hams?)

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