What are breathing awards, you say? They are awards that children receive for just breathing. You know what I mean. I'm sure you know of a child that has received a citizenship award at school while the other children receive awards for being on the honor roll. If your child plays a sport, they may have received a trophy despite coming in last place. My daughters' room is filled with trophies and ribbons and certificates. Its just ridiculous! I can count on one hand the number of awards that were truly earned. There was a child who quit the soccer team after the 2nd week and her mother came to the last game to get her trophy. What is she teaching her child?
Why are we rewarding kids just for breathing? We need to stop rewarding kids just for participating. This is teaching them that they should be rewarded without putting forth much effort. They start to develop a sense of entitlement. Children need to know that they need to work hard in order to be rewarded for anything.
I once saw a child throw a temper tantrum because he didn't get a goody bag at a birthday party. He thought that he deserved treats just for coming to the party. He said that he wasted his time coming to the party because he left empty handed. When kids get too focused on the reward they forget the purpose of the activity, whether its school, sports or a birthday party.
Parents need to stop coddling their kids. Disappointment is a part of life. Its ok if your team doesn't win and you don't get a breathing award. Breathing awards are given for the sole purpose of making a child feel good because he/she was not good enough!
Filed under: Parenting