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should losing team get a trophy

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Should All Kids Get Trophies?

by Maria Lianos-Carbone

Hockey season is over!

Hurray?

Considering the season began last September and hockey took up every weekend morning, it’s a bit of a relief that the season has ended for the spring and summer.

My son’s hockey team played a good season. But they did come out tied last place with another team.

Yet every member of the team (they’re seven years old) received this:

I thought it was nice but I was left wondering why each player had to bring home a trophy.  It’s nice to get rewarded for playing the season but I should the losing teams and players all receive a trophy?

What is this teaching our kids?  Is this setting our kids up for failure when in the real world, not everyone will get a trophy?

I worry that this sends the wrong message to kids that they will be rewarded for just showing up and playing the game, whether they win or lose.  I wonder if this will only add to the entitled attitude that kids seem to have these days.

It also takes away the prestige of receiving a “real” trophy and downplays the hard work involved in winning the trophy for real.  Sure we feel bad if our kids are left out because they didn’t receive a trophy at the end of the year.  But kids are smarter than that – they know they lost, they probably wonder why they even received a trophy if they didn’t win.

I think it’s be a much more effective lesson to teach kids about winning and losing, working hard next time, earning the win and putting in the extra effort the next time.  It’s an opportunity to show our kids how to be a ‘good loser’ and to be humble about winning.

I think trophies should only be awarded to the winner or just the winning team. In the real world, not everyone gets the winning prize – only the best of the best who worked hard will receive it.  If you don’t win, it’s a good lesson. Disappointment is a part of life and kids need to learn how to handle disappointment.

The hope is that losing will motivate kids to try harder and do better next time. Like adults, kids can begin learning about setting goals and understanding that they need to work hard to attain them.

I asked my kids what they think:  my five year old thinks that only the winning team should win trophies.  But my seven year old thinks everyone should get a trophy “because it’s fair”.

What do you think?