We are screwing up our children and it is time for us to stop. That is not meant to be funny, silly or tongue-in-cheek. This is not a Woody Allen or Jerry Seinfeld routine. This is real and important.
Here is the problem:
We don’t want to hurt our childrens’ feelings and or crush their self esteem so we have created programs and activities where everyone wins but the net result is that everyone loses.
In the real world we don’t give Nobel Prizes to everyone who is eligible. Â We don’t hand out Academy Awards to every actor, director or give Grammies to every musician. Our bosses don’t congratulate us for just showing up to work nor does everyone get a sticker for being nice.
Those of you who aren’t parents might be shocked to learn that some schools have banned playing tag because they don’t want kids to feel badly by being “it.” Some schools don’t want children to run or play on the monkey bars because they might get hurt.
In other schools they wrestle with whether they should give out awards. It seems that they are concerned that Johnny and Sally might be hurt if they don’t get the same treatment as Jimmy and Kelly.
That sort of thing makes me insane. I want all of the students to have the same opportunity to win those awards. Make it a level playing field but let the kids play.
We owe it to our children to teach them how to deal with adversity. They need coping skills and protecting them from failure and hurt feelings isn’t going to spare them down the road.
I am not suggesting that we intentionally crush them- balance and moderation is important. But I don’t have a problem with my children seeing that outstanding work and effort is rewarded with something extra. I want them to be able to deal with whatever comes and that means exposure to something more than life in a bubble.
What do you think?