Posted on Oct 12, 2015
CPO Andy Carrillo, MS
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v-gwjJ_NXKU

The science suggests that we need to be praise our kids on process, not results. For example, instead of dealing with defeat by telling our kids that “everyone’s a winner at heart,” we should praise them for how hard they hustled, what they did right and how they improved.

But it’s not just the “losers” we need to worry about; it’s the “winners” too. Phrases like “You’re a winner” or “You’re a natural” can actually be toxic to how kids deal with losing. As the work of child psychologist Carol Dweck shows us (link is external), praising kids for their innate talents (in this study’s case, their intelligence) actually makes it more difficult for them to cope when they’re actually confronted with losing. Kids who are praised for their effort rather than their ability tend to strive harder, enjoy activities more, and deal with failure in a more resilient way.
https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-new-you/201409/should-we-give-our-kids-participation-trophies
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Responses: 38
Lt Col Scott Shuttleworth
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Edited >1 y ago
I believe the everyone gets a trophy is BS. Let me pontificate. I think you have to put in the time, effort, sweat, determination, grit and all the other things to be successful. When we give trophy's for a kid putting on a football jersey or a baseball jersey or a soccer uniform and sit on the couch till game time and half heartedly don't attend practices because mommy says they weren't in the mood that day, show up and give no effort and don't understand the plays and hurt the team and whine because they didn't get to play then get a well done trophy for showing up...that reinforce sloppy and lazy behavior...when you get to a job...show up or don't show up and do your job half assed and see what it gets you. Don't show up for class in college or don't do the required assignments see what happens. In the military we train folks hard and only the best and best qualified get the jobs they want...you can't show up to pilot training , fly when you want to, the sorties you want to, and locations you want to and still get your wings...there is no participation trophy for not excelling! Try Ranger school, BUDS, PJ and TACP schools...same same.

When I was growing up I tried out for the baseball team...thought I was ready...I wasn't...I got cut...you know what it taught me a valuable lesson...not everyone can do what they want. You know what I did, I practiced for the entire next year, throwing, catching, batting, fielding and I tried out the next year and made it but barely...but I made it because I didn't get damn participation trophy...I worked for it. Same for my daughter, we taught her the same way...she tried out for cheer her 8th grade year...didn't make it, guess what, she bought a trampoline, practiced her stunts and jumps over the year and the next year made the High School squad as a Freshman.

It is a good practice to tell kids you are improving, great hustle, and if you work a little bit harder as an individual and as a team we can win...but to give everyone trophy for breathing is BS in my book. In life there are winners and losers in every activity...just stop and think about your daily walk at home, the office, or at leisure...compromise all day long to get what you need to be successful...Sometimes you win sometimes you lose but somebody is always on one side or the other.

Maj Marty Hogan Lt Col Charlie Brown 1stSgt Glenn Brackin
Cpl Craig Morton SGT David A. 'Cowboy' Groth COL Mikel J. Burroughs
LTC Stephen C. CPL Dave Hoover PO3 Bob McCord
Lt Col John (Jack) Christensen Sgt Wayne Wood PVT James Strait
SFC Jack Champion MSgt David Hoffman MSgt Stephen Council
PO1 H Gene Lawrence 1SG Steven Imerman SGT Steve McFarland Cynthia C.
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PO2 Russell "Russ" Lincoln
PO2 Russell "Russ" Lincoln
12 mo
Absolutly agree.
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CPL Adam Schoenwald
CPL Adam Schoenwald
12 mo
Amen!
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SPC Lyle Montgomery
SPC Lyle Montgomery
5 mo
Great point Lt. Col Shuttleworth. I agree completely.
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SPC Lyle Montgomery
SPC Lyle Montgomery
3 mo
Absolutely right. Well stated Colonel Shuttleworth.
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SSG Squad Leader
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I do not believe that participation trophies are productive. It shows the youth that you can get the same credit just for being there as the kid who has natural ability and works his tail off. If you were at a place of employment and the boss said you weren't going to get a raise because they couldn't give the slacker next to you one also and it wouldn't be fair, how would you react? You deserve more if you work harder it's what pushes people to be better.
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SFC Combat Engineer
SFC (Join to see)
12 mo
Exactly! Important thing to teach our children is how to lose gracefully and win gracefully; both are needed.
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Cpl Henry Busby
Cpl Henry Busby
12 mo
I totally agree. I always told my boys that if they were not going to put in maximum effort, what was the point of being on the team. My last experience was with my granddaughter who had to come stay with me while her father was deployed and the mother was totally dysfunctional. She ended up staying with me from the age of 3 to 15. I had her join the local track team, and honestly she didn't want to do it, but I convinced her to just try it out. At first she didn't put her heart into training and was just showing up. In races she would always be trailing the field. I told her that she could quit the team if she chose to, but I asked her for one thing. I asked her to give it her all for just a month. I also asked her how she felt always looking at the backs of the other girls? In one race I encouraged her to run her best in this race and if she still wanted to quit, she could, and I bribed her that if I saw her giving her best, I would do something special for her. I knew that she had the wheels but not the drive, but in this race, she went all out and came in 3rd against a field of 8. I asked her how that felt, because the two girls who came in 1st and 2nd was the fastest girls on the team. The coach and I knew that she had it in her, but she didn't. By the end of the season she was never out of the top 3 and finished 1st in multiple races. She actually went to state and won. Then to the Junior Olympics where she placed 2nd nationally. Then made it to college on a track scholarship. She did not pursue running as a career, but now at 23 with two kids of her own, she and I talk about her running career with pride and satisfaction in what she accomplished. That feeling is far greater than a participation medal. And now she has all her medals to show her boys. I think that a parent does their child a disservice to allow them to settle for a participation medal. If their heart is not in the sport, then why be on a team whose objective is to win? Of course they might not always win, but there is satisfaction in trying your hardest, Just my humble opinion.
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SGT Jerrold Pesz
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Participation Trophies are simply a reward for failure.
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