Thursday, May 31, 2012

Trophies for showing up

Soccer ended last week.   We had a party at Sonic for Gabe’s party.  The one by our house  (on Tryon) closed last year, and we weren’t surprised because the service there was so awful.  Then it reopened under new management and now they are stinkin’ awesome.  They have some great deals there now, especially if you are a part of Steele Creek Athletic Association.  Any time you show up in an SCAA jersey, you get a free slushie!   Combine that with a deal they gave us for the party, and we got three slushies, a kid’s meal, a BLT, two corn-dogs, a chili wrap, and a soda for $2.50!  Isn’t that incredible?  Even more incredible?  I didn’t eat any of it!!


The next night we had a party at Colin’s coach’s house. Colin had a blast, but I spent the time keeping my roaming and overtired baby out of things.  She is at that stage – I spend a lot of time trailing two feet behind her.  Oh, and I also got to tell one of Colin’s teammates repeatedly not to turn the hose on and spray everyone in the backyard.  And guess how he responded?  Blasted it on and pointed it at Ollie, completely soaking him, and then….then, folks, he looked me straight in the eye and sprayed me.  Now, I am all for a good water fight, but not an unauthorized one when there are a couple of dozen kids around who aren’t supposed to get wet and trample mud into a very nice house.  This was a week ago, and I still feel like I was justified in the look that I gave that kid.


So, my last little rant of the evening…

I love soccer.  I love watching my kids run and sweat.  I love seeing them figure out the rules and strategy.  I love watching them build relationships with their teammates and coaches.  I really feel it is good for them. 

Our league doesn’t really make a big deal about which team is best.  There are no trophies at the end for the winners. Everyone gets a little piece of a plaque every season they play in the league, to add to a big plaque.  I think that is very appropriate.

However, since our first season in the league five years ago, one or more parents on each team we have been a part of have organized getting trophies or medals for everyone at the end.  For being a part of the team. I know this will make me sound like an old fart, but I think that is just stupid.  Sure, I could fight the fight and say that I think it is stupid and have my kid be the one kid who doesn’t get one, but that would probably make me an evil parent.  So each season I shell out $5 –$10 to pay for the piece of plastic that will sit on top of their dresser with the rest of the growing collection.

I have to admit that when no one on Colin’s team this season mentioned buying trophies until the last couple of weeks, I did have a few panicky thoughts.  Uh-oh.  Trophies every season and then suddenly none?  That won’t go over well.  Do I really want this teaching moment?

This is how much of a curmudgeon I am about the whole thing: As we were leaving Colin’s party, Gabe and Colin were talking about their trophies, and Gabe said, “Mom has a lot of trophies from dance!”

And I actually said, “Yes, but I actually got mine for winning competitions.  Not just for being in dance.”

Yeah, I know.  Evil parent.


Cat said...

LOVE it! They do the same thing in dance with trophies and medals at recital time. I'd been so good about not buying into that until this year and I got Maya a medal because she kept asking about them. Could have totally turned it into a teaching moment but got suckered in anyway....nevermind she has one that she actually EARNED! I'm still kind of mad at myself for buying it.

James said...

I hate the "Yay! You showed up!" awards because they set the standard so low for everything else. See also my rants regarding my students who really can't read or write but think they should get an A anyway.

I put this in the same category as Kindergarten graduation. Yes, they made it through the first year. Guess what? Twelecve more years to go before you can get a piece of paper that actually means anything.

Maybe the kids are too young for this, but if they have to do an "everybody gets an award", they should personalize it, maybe even do the Razzies. Make it a good natured way to remember the season, who did what that was fun/memorable/character building/(slightly embarrassing but ot in the therapy inducing way?). A certificate, maybe even a kitsch item that goes with the award title, and every kid gets a personalized moment of "They noticed me and knew who I was!"

Bubb Rubb said...

I stopped reading when you mentioned that soccer is fun and that you enjoy the strategy.

Seriously though - unless we are talking special needs kids, I'm all for winners and losers. Kids are being sheltered today. Competition is a good thing. Kids need to learn early on that not everyone is equal. While this may hurt the feelings of some children, it inspires other to try harder.

I've had numerous conversations with my daughter helping her to understand that she won't be good at everything and that's OK. It's fine that she is awkward dancer because she has other wonderful talents that she should be proud of.

Gaynelle said...

Amen! I have most of the trophies in a box in the garage. When they get to the level Cody is in then I can see getting a trophy, but until then...yep just for showing up.

Plus I would have done more than give a look to the kid who sprayed you. That must have taken some serious self control.

Adena and Greg said...

I had a similar issue at school this week. They did the end of the year awards ceremony. Brayden received a Citizenship Award (only two given per class) and Honor Roll. He was given two different certificates, which I thought was perfectly acceptable. He doesn't need more than that.

I did have a problem, however, when the kids with perfect attendance got a very large, nice trophy. You give the greater recognition to the kids just for showing up? Even though the majority of those kids did not excel academically or socially? I have nothing against perfect attendance, but why reward that if you come to school every day and you're STILL not learning what you should?

Katie said...

Adena - it is funny you say that, because I was thinking about the awards ceremonies when we were kids. If I remember correctly, one boy and one girl from each class got the citizenship award and scholarship award. And then every kid who had perfect attendance got a trophy. Even though I got either the citizenship or scholarship award every year (which was a certificate), I was always jealous of those trophies. Now, as a parent, I think perfect attendance is a joke. It means that the kid either got really lucky and never got sick, or the parents sent the kid to school even when they were sick. BAH!

Christie said...

Yup, year after year of getting the same old identical tie tack type thing for the scholarship award at Ruth Brown, while big old trophies were given out for perfect attendence.
I thought it was so funny this year when we had an awards banquet for dance last week and every kid got an award like "Best Smile." Elizabeth got "Best Ballet" and that was nice and meant something. Amelia got "Best Effort" and she wasn't buying it. "But I don't try hard! Mostly I just stand there and look around!"

James said...

While we're at it, people need to stop doing standing ovations every time their child performs. Clap, yes, vigourously even, but unless the performance was truly outstanding (for their skill level), no standing ovations. The kids know if they did their best or not. Don't lie to them.

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