There are many studies to support the fact that one of the best things that you can do for your child is to have them participate in a sport. Whether it’s an intramural or little league team, or it’s even something that’s connected to a local church or community center, playing some form of a sport is a fun way for kids to exercise, learn the importance of team work and also how to win humbly and lose gracefully. Perhaps that’s why, when it comes to the question of if all kids should get a trophy after a game, whether they will or lose, the answer is not as black-and-white as it may initially seem. Let’s take out a moment to explore some of the pros and cons to both sides of the issue.
Why Every Child Should Get a Trophy A wise man once said, “You have the rest of your life to be an adult, but only a few years to be a child.” That said, childhood should definitely be a time when kids should not have to deal with the pressures of heavily competing at the risk of simply playing and having a good time. This is one of the reasons why many people feel that when there is a game that has prizes like trophies involved, all children should be given one because it’s not so much about who “won” as the fact that, at the end of the day, everyone is a winner. From this perspective, it’s a good way for a child who may not have been on the “winning team” to not feel like they did “bad” or “wrong” and so therefore, they should still feel good about their efforts.
There is another side of this argument, though. Some people feel that by giving every child something like a trophy at the end of a game is somewhat unrealistic in the sense that it doesn’t model how the “real world” operates. In life, there are winners and losers and everyone doesn’t always receive “equal treatment” regardless of their performance. Plus, it can send a bit of a mixed message to the children who did actually win because they may wonder what the incentive is to try their best if they are simply going to be treated like everyone else.
A Happy Medium If you’re looking for a solution that is both fair and also takes some of the pressure off of both you and the children (on both teams), here’s something to consider: How about purchasing a set of trophies for the winning team and some ribbons for the team that doesn’t win? That way, you are still acknowledging the awesome job that the winners did, while still providing a token of encouragement for the team that lost. This is also something that can make the parents on both sides feel at ease about because, in handling it this way, it will not be a blow to either team’s self-esteem. That, at the end of the day, should be the main concern, anyway. No matter what team the child plays on.