The question as to whether participation trophies improve performance in children has caused a lot of debates in the field of children’s development. Both sides of the participation trophy debate have strong points to support their arguments.
Do participation trophies encourage hard work or a lack of achievement? Despite debates, participation trophies can be a positive thing. Learn more here.
Arguments in Favor of Participation Trophies
Participation trophies are great for younger children. This is because the rewards show them the value of being present in the field and the value of contributing to a team. In other words, they build the team spirit in children and show them how good it is to be reliable as a team member. These participation awards also show the children that their efforts counted even if they never won.
Kenneth Barish, a psychology professor argues that sports is not about getting the best but it is about learning social skills. He adds that sports help children to learn the importance of an active lifestyle. It will also have lasting, positive effects on children’s development.
Rewarding children based only on the outcome of their actions rather than the steps that made them perform well can make them look for short-cuts in the future. Young children are most likely to lose interest in games if they are not winning any. However, with a trophy to take home after the game, they will be motivated to press on.
When they display the trophies in their rooms at home, it will be a great reminder of the good times they had with their friends. It will help in social development. For participation Trophies to be effective, they need to be customized by adding simple inscriptions like the name of the child and the name of the team.
This way, the child will feel some attachment with the trophy. Such trophies can be obtained from the Trophies Plus Medals Website.
Arguments Against Participation Trophies
Some have argued that handing out such trophies is a form of overprotection for the children. They say that since the trophies are handed to the children regardless of how they perform, the children will not see the need for putting more effort or to learn from the mistakes that made them perform poorly.
This will make them have some sense of entitlement to the trophies once they show up in the field.
What’s the Verdict on Participation Trophies?
As can be seen from the arguments above, participation trophies are good but they lose their effectiveness as children get older. Children begin to have mixed feelings about these trophies at the ages of 8 to 12. Above this age, they will have known how to play and also to appreciate the effort they need to put to help their team win.
For younger children, participation trophies work wonders. This is because rewarding them builds their excitement toward the game and will make them look forward to taking part in the next season. Children should learn early enough that the little efforts they put also count.
Research has found that participation trophies boost confidence in children by giving them something to hope for at the end of a game. This makes them appreciate the fact that sports are not about winning or losing but they are about participation.
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