Please Don't Give Our Children a Participation Award

Can I be really honest here? We have a generation of entitled, selfish, sore loser children coming up, and it's our fault. Since when did we start this whole "it doesn't matter if we win or lose, we're just here to have fun" thing? Don't get me wrong, when a team is being defeated and/or in an unfair match, a pep talk is what the players need. But this mentality seems to have trickled into every day life.

After watching our youngest son throw countless fits, crying and stomping away to flail himself on his bed, yelling "just let me win!", I've come to the conclusion that our children don't know how to lose. After countless reminders to our son that sometimes we win, sometimes we lose, and that it's good to celebrate with others, I've come to realize that our society is telling him otherwise.

From awards just for participating, to goodie bags at birthday parties, we're teaching our kids that it must always be about them somehow. Yeah, a token of being at an event is cool. But what happened to "everyone smile for the picture", and "thank you for celebrating with us"?

Think I'm exaggerating? Recall your most recent adult event. Maybe it was attending a wedding, a baby shower, a birthday party... did you just attend and celebrate with them? Or did you leave with a souvenir, door prize, drink bought for you? If you truly celebrated and gained nothing for yourself, you are one of the rarities.

I'm disturbed by the overwhelming attitude of "what's in it for me?". What will it take to get back to building each other up with words and encouraging each other to always give our best? What will it take for us to celebrate others and genuinely be happy for them?

If you're invited to our children's parties, please don't expect a goodie bag. If we choose not to take a goodie bag from your party, please don't be offended. If you're coaching our children in sports, please don't allow them to give only half best. If you're any form of leader or mentor in the lives of our children, please allow them to learn through both praise and correction.

Changing the mentality that our society has become so comfy with might be hard,but I believe it's possible. Let's spend more time taking our children to serve others, so they can feel the joy that comes from it. Let's be more intentional with our encouragement and correction, so that our children can learn and grow. Let's shift focus from "what about me?", to "what can I do for someone today?".



credit: YouVersion Bible App