Trophies for everyone

Everyone gets a trophy.

If you’re an older American like me, you are most likely familiar with 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place trophies. You may still have a few cherished ones from your childhood. And you are also probably familiar with participation trophies and when they became a thing. If you are not, I am happy to share some information about them in a few interesting articles I found.

According to, the trophy industry generates around $2 billion a year in the United Stated and Canada! Um, what?! That is a lot of money and I can think of many more important things we could do with that. That is another subject. $2 billion a year. There are not that many winners. But, there are that many participants. And this, in my opinion, and in the opinion of many others, is not a healthy or beneficial practice. I believe that there should be clear winners and losers. I also believe this should be established from a very early age. Let me say that I am not a child psychologist, or a teacher, nor do I claim to have any professional training when it comes to treating or dealing with children. I am, however, a mother of four children, two of them are adults, and I am a grandmother. I have four nieces and one nephew and have worked with children in many different settings, including disabled children, over my life. I know a lot about kids.

When it comes to establishing clear winners and losers, I think that this not only teaches kids to work hard, learn from their mistakes, and acknowledge their strengths and weaknesses, but to also acknowledge where there is room for improvement, and teaches them how to manage their feelings and emotions. It teaches kids that life is not always fair and things may not always feel good, but learning a healthy way to manage emotions is essential. Learning to be accountable for mistakes, rewarded for hard work, or natural talents, and recognize room for growth, hard work, dedication, and change.

Trophies galore.

Participation trophies, in my opinion, send the message that even though there are clear cut rules to things, let’s say sports for example, and there is a score kept and everything, in the end everyone is rewarded the same. I thought participation trophies were a new thing in the Millennial generation. Upon further research, I found that participation trophies date back as far as 1922. In an article on at the 2nd annual Ohio State invitation boy’s basketball tournament, participation trophies were given out to all the players. The post also talks about how members of the 1942 Western Division Class B boy’s basketball team from Montana State, Corvallis, beat Townsend 50-35, and the winning players received gold basketballs, while all the other players received trophies for participation. I am all for rewarding hard work, I just do not think money needs to be spent on participation trophies. If the score is 50-35, there is clearly a winning team and a losing team. If there is one team playing against one team, the other players had their chance and did their best, and lost. That is where I think it ends. I also do not think paper needs to be used for participation certificates, either. But wasting paper – that’s a different topic entirely. Take a quick look at this video below.

What do you think? Do you agree with the idea of participation trophies or not? We will dive a bit deeper into this subject tomorrow. Feel free to leave some feedback, ask any questions, and voice your concerns for now.

Categories: LifestyleTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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