Day 4 (of 183) on competitions (trophies vs blue ribbons vs participation)
This summer ‘competioton’ came to attention via NFLer James Harrison returning some awards that his kids got but in his opinion did not earn http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/13447657/james-harrison-pittsburgh-steelers-takes-away-kids-participation-trophies-says-awards-earned
BC principal and social media guru @chriswejr had some good thoughts about it https://m.facebook.com/chriswejr/posts/10155964879025230
And in fairness a few of us have been talking competition on voxer – the pros and cons; reasons everyone might get a medal; why trophies are overrated/overvalued etc etc
This weekend at our communities Fall Fair I was excited that my kids entered a variety of creations. I even entered a loaf of bread. Happily my kids each won a ribbon or two – and for too many years I didn’t. But really it didn’t matter as it gave me another chance to reflect on ‘winning’.
Not everyone receives ribbons (though the toddler categories do) and it’s all good – because it’s their choice to participate and know they may win but there is a greater chance that someone else will get the blue ribbon.
I think there is a role for rewarding participation. Especially when doing something new. It doesn’t mean that everyone is a winner – it does show that there is a progression in competition. Every grade 5 kid gets equal playing time on the basketball court. Not every senior gets to be the starting quarterback.
I have kids that need extrinsic rewards and token acknowledgements to know that the are doing right/well. We hope that it shifts to intrinsic value – as I am seeing my kids taking greater pride in their creations. Winning is nice but it’s not their goal.
Even though my bread didn’t win a ribbon this year….I’m already practicing for ‘the next one’. Or 10. Whatever.