First World Parent Freakout Volume 1: Medals For All Edition

So what’s worse for the kids: Medals for all, or … sharp medals?

This should seriously be an ongoing series, and we’ll see how this one shakes out, but there are so many things that parents just completely lose their bananas over that I have to wonder if I’m just not clued in to some worldwide inside joke or something.

Case in point?

This Agitator post from Free Range Kids writer Lenore Skenazy, one of my favorites on the web, about a dad who calls sports organizers “idiots” for having the gall to handle out sharp medals after an event.

Seriously, the medals are too sharp, he argues.

From the story:

“What on earth were these idiots thinking, handing out something like that to children? It does make you wonder how in these health-and-safety days, these slipped through the net. The people who organised it obviously didn’t see them like that but they’re so sharp, I just pushed one into a wooden table.

“I can’t believe someone’s allowed these to be given out.”

I took a look at the medal and thought yes, that does look sharp. Soooo … kids just should be more careful with it.

Is it such a big deal? Will it kill them, maim them, cause them more than one second’s worth of potential pain should they be so foolish as to actually touch their little token of sports participation? Probably not. Yes, it could happen. But likely? I’m not going to lose sleep over it.

In all seriousness, I’d be more concerned about handing out medals to everyone.

That crap drives me crazy.

We were at a sporting event for kids a month or so ago and a child didn’t win a medal. The child cried. The child’s mother went up to the organizers, demanded a ribbon and got one. Child was told, “They just made a mistake, that’s all, honey.”


They didn’t make a mistake. You just did not perform well enough to earn a ribbon. Next time, try harder.

Look, I don’t want to be the old man shaking his fist at children at the lawn, I understand it’s tough for kids to lose, and I understand the notion of wanting young kids to be happy with the idea of competition, but at what point do we let them stand on their own two feet and earn their own rewards?

To me, the idea that everyone’s a winner is far more dangerous to kids, long term, that any type of potentially dangerous but not really medal.

Mike Adamick writes at Cry It Out!

Photo: The Agitator

Article Posted 4 years Ago
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