I came across this article and it pretty much sums up what I’ve been saying for years.
We have created a generation of children who are so addicted to their own hype that they don’t know how to really do anything.
I know some of you are immediately taking offense. “Not my kid!” you gasp. Well, maybe you got one of the kids who isn’t affected by this. The rest of us are stuck with under achievers.
Remember when we were in school and grades were a big deal? Or was it just my Catholic schools? Where grades were posted publicly on the board and there was no way in hell you wanted to be at the bottom of the list. We wanted to be close to the top, if not at the very top. We knew an A was good and anything else was blah.
That’s not happening any more. Now it seems that everyone passes. Because we need to bolster self esteem. Apparently, this generation of children isn’t capable of handling the stress of actually being anywhere but the top of the pile. So everyone’s at the top.
These are the same kids who get trophies for any sports team they play with. Participation trophies are all the rage. They are cluttering up our houses. They are meaningless, people. Can’t we save the real trophies for first, second, and third place?
Do you know what happens when we continually tell our children they are the best ever and that the world revolves around them? They begin to believe it. But it doesn’t make them want to actually strive to be better. Why put out the effort when they are already there? Why bother working a little harder when everyone gets the same grade/trophy/amount of praise no matter how hard they do or don’t work?
There’s a car commercial right now where the lovely tween in the back seat is embarrassed for his friend with the uncool parents while he lounges in luxury with his DVD player and head phones and can ignore his parents. Seriously? Does the tween actually influence his parents’ car-buying? And if he does, are those parents morons?
Do you remember car trips when you were a kid? I do. And they weren’t pleasant. No mini van for us. We had a two-door Chevelle. It wasn’t completely awful, unless we took Gramma on the six-hour drive to Omaha. Then we were a little cramped. Music? We were lucky that we had an eight-track stereo…with country music.
Now we’re telling kids that they should not have to listen to anything but their movie? No! You must play I Spy and the Alphabet Game with us. Read a book. Do puzzles. Listen to a sibling whine the whole trip. Listen to your parents fight over directions. Just like we did as kids.
I think we have overcompensated for the grief we felt as kids. Grades on the board were humiliating. But it built character. It created people who studied and prepared. Participation trophies make up for the time we got nothing because our team sucked. Vehicles equipped with DVD players and head phones give us the escape we needed and wanted when we were forced to travel with our families.
I don’t think we’ve done our kids any favors by being so soft on them. All I see are a lot kids who are content to sit around playing video games and getting by with minimal effort. You build self-esteem by being proud…of yourself. We can encourage our children and we should when they are doing something good or right. But they get their self-esteem from within themselves. When they understand on their own that they accomplished something. Being told they are great/wonderful/incredible doesn’t build self-esteem. It builds false vanity.
What do you think?