Hey, where is my trophy? When my children were young and involved in sports, I noticed the wholesale presentation of trophies, medals, and ribbons to every team member whether they played well or not. Exceptional athletes were rarely singled out for the praise they deserved. Instead of elevating these athletes as examples for teammates to strive or emulate, they were treated as pariahs, so as not to diminish the self-esteem of the less talented. Where is the incentive for a talented player to get off the bench? Years ago awards were given for first, second, third, fourth place, recognition for the most valuable athlete, and acclaim for the entire team’s success. Today coaches, moms and dads wrongly place self-esteem over the equally important skill and talent. Children, these days, are not allowed to feel the sting of failure as a lesson learned. Self-esteem is important, but not to the detriment of preparing children for life. Face it, life hurts. A parent’s job is to prepare children for survival in the cruel world we live in. In the real world there are no trophies, ribbons, or medals for failure. Rewarding children, most of their lives, for mediocrity or failure is not good parenting. Some ill-equipped children who fail as adults in their jobs go ballistic. In the back of their minds they failed and wonder, where is my trophy? Wonder why there are so many workplace shootings, the answer is in your bathroom mirror.

 

Frank Hamrah

Yuba City


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