Meaningless awards and phony self-esteem

Bookworm writes about an experience that illustrates a growing problem with child-rearing. Her children were invited to an award ceremony at their school to honor their good qualities. Her children did not want to go, saying that everyone was getting an award and the awards didn’t mean anything. She tells an engaging story about an awkward moment when she said this to a neighbor whose children were also getting awards, but who saw things differently.

Bookworm writes that her children “quickly figured out how to game the system, and now do the bare minimum to get by,” so that there was no question of their actually deserving an academic award. She comments that “The school would do better to give blunt, meaningful praise at the moment, rather than to concoct some ridiculous awards ceremony that elevates recycling a garbage bag to the level of heroism in battle. Savvy kids understand that there is nothing award-worthy about the fact that they’ve competently carried out the tasks of ordinary life.”

I couldn’t agree more.

Comments 1

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