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Trophies - A Pawn in the New Mommy Wars?

Okay, so maybe “mommy wars” is a bit of an exaggeration. However, I did find myself in a bit of an uncomfortable situation last week when I brought up the issue of trophies for my 4 year old’s soccer team.

I’m of the belief that, at 4 or 5 years old, kids should be rewarded for the simple act of playing through the season and putting in the effort. We don’t even keep score (officially, at least) so we can’t give the kids trophies for coming in First or Second place for the season. While I realize that later in life, kids aren’t going to get trophies every year simply for showing up, I think at this point in life, that’s precisely why they should get them.

But apparently not everyone feels that way.

Some of the parents on the team feel very strongly that children shouldn’t get trophies simply for participating and have made it very clear that they do not want their child to receive a trophy. Which, I get. To a degree.

These kids are little. They are teeny, tiny children who are just beginning to figure out how to follow the ball down the field and not get distracted by the plane that’s flying overhead. They are in the first year or two of their participation in team sports and keeping them interested and engaged can be an issue. Giving them a trophy makes them feel special and is a great way to remind them for the rest of the very long year that they played Soccer (or t-ball or basketball, etc) and did a great job and had fun. And I just don’t see anything wrong with that.

They’re destined to experience so much disappointment in the future, why not take advantage of this phase while it lasts?

I know a lot of you disagree with me on this, so tell me – Are you opposed to giving participation trophies to little kids? Why or why not?

Photo Credit: Flickr

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