Participation Trophies: An Issue with Modern Parents, Not Kids
The cultural debate surrounding participation trophies these days can be mind-numbing. Point blank.
While many choose not to weigh-in, whether they be childless or just sick of arguing about things that do not impact them, opinions on the $20 piece of plastic eight-year-olds receive at the end of each youth league season seem to stir up anger in some.
Before we get too far into this, though, a point needs to be made clear. The children who received these trophies are not in the same group of people who bought them.
While the younger generations generally take the heat for 'needing' participation trophies to feel better about themselves, it is their parents who are responsible for putting them in that position.
The generations of those complaining the most about the pieces of plastic that they claim to be 'softening' our youth is the same group of individuals that provided the hardware and told the youth that 'everyone is a winner.'
For readers who have been given a participation trophy or award, think back to when you played youth sports for a second.
Now, when you asked your parents to spend their hard-earned money so that you can have something to do with friends after school, was your decision to play based on whether you'd be receiving an objectively cheap trophy versus a wearable medal to celebrate the season?
Or did you choose to play because that's what would allow you to hang out with friends outside of school most regularly?
What most parents - and anyone else complaining about participation awards - simply don't understand is the fact that the children who receive these just, frankly, do not want them.
The cheap plastic will collect dust as time goes on and no one polishes the spoils of little league stardom. And more and more often, we're only left with complaints and arguments about who actually deserved what.
Enjoy youth sports and let your kids enjoy youth sports. Take plenty of pictures and attend all the fundraisers, if you have time.
Buying a child a trophy to tell them they did just as well as everyone else on their team or in the league, is unrealistic. But, using your purchase of a trophy against them later in life as an attack on their character, is unconscionable.
Please, just keep your complaints and participation trophies to yourselves. And stay off my damn lawn.
This article is the opinion of writer J. R. Moore and does not reflect the views of Townsquare Media.