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Participation Trophies do not Enhance Skill Development in Kids

Ashley Merryman (2016), in the article Forget Trophies, Let Kids Know Its O.K. toLose, argues that kids should be taught that losing and making mistakes is part of growth and progress. Participation trophies create in kids the impression that losing is unacceptable. This passes the wrong message to them because they adopt negative perspectives. Instead, kids should be trained that failure offers them a better opportunity to learn, and it is not a form of embarrassment. It is not about winning all the time but providing progressive results. Merryman shares the claims held by some people that awards enhance self-esteem and hence promote success. However, science refutes such claims that when such kids are overpraised, they tend to be relaxed and feel vindicated, leading to narcissistic tendencies. Instead, the focus should be on enhancing their self-image, which leads to personal development, which is the true mastery of skills. It is the small accomplishments that make them grow. Thus, saving the budget to fund participation trophies is not beneficial. Instead, such funds should aid in skill development and the purchase of equipment that promotes the growth of skills (Merryman, 2016). Kids can indeed excel without participation trophies.

When growing up, I never received any participation trophies. I grew knowing that…even the best players equal with the weaker ones. Thus, that would be discouraging and would not build on skill enhancement.

In conclusion, participation trophies do not serve the role that many people believe they do. They have adverse effects on motivation and can easily make kids vindicated. Instead, kids should receive awards only after attaining essential milestones in their lives. Making the kids believe that they have to win in all circumstances makes them weak and fears failure. Unfortunately, this should not be the goal of trophies. They are supposed to create in kids the desire to work harder and develop the spirit of appreciating even failures as part…

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