Let kids be happy and give them a damn trophy

Instagram post by Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison. photo courtesy of

We live in a society where young children are encouraged by their parents to participate in “fun activities” in which they can not only get to enjoy the wonders of experiencing a new sport, but they can gain the opportunity to make new friends. And while all of this is going on, these condescending, country club mothers get to boast about their wonder child to all the other moms over a nice glass of iced tea.

But in reality, not all these kids are “wonder children.” Some of these kids are only trying to do their best in order to make their parents proud, and to have fun. But the one thing that keeps these kids spirit up is that one participation trophy they get to show their parents at the end of the day.

Now lately, the act of giving participation awards has been chastised by adults fearing that these trophies are corrupting their child’s mind into believing that they truly are a winner, and that life will hand them everything on a silver platter.

In fact, in mid-August, this common debate was brought up by Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison, as he took to Instagram to state that he would be sending back the trophies that his two sons, ages six and eight, brought home, “until they earn a real trophy.”

But in reality, these awards are in no way harming these worry filled parents beautiful child, but they are in fact doing the exact opposite.

Receiving some sort of participation credit lets kids know that they tried. While many people claim that these awards ultimately set children up for failure, really these acknowledgements give them some form of pride, and builds their will to keep trying, and wanting to succeed.

These medals and trophies provide a boost of self confidence to these impressionable minds, during a time in their life where one medal can make them king of the playground. By providing every child with some form of recognition, they all feel special, and it really helps their self-confidence as they are growing up.

The whole world should just stop worrying their precious little heads over the fact that little Johnny got to take home a trophy even though little Johnny came in last place, and maybe think about more important things going on in the world. Just let these kids think they are important for a little while, before they have to face the pain of growing up.

Cartoon by Mimi Hoang
Cartoon by Mimi Hoang

Written by Morgan Lanyon

Morgan is a senior at Mt. Carmel High School. She is kept constantly busy with varsity field hockey, Hebrew school, swim team, and being the co-Editor in Chief of the MC Sun. She has a problem with watching too much TV, and eating an excessive amount of snacks. She knows the lyrics to practically every Billy Joel song, and doesn't care who knows. She also knows about most celebrities, and can answer your questions almost as fast as the internet.

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