Why Do We Have Participation Trophies for kids?

I really had such high hopes that Ian's team would win their last game today.  I know playing sports isn't all about winning but just once I'd love to see the look of sheer joy on his face when his team won.  Instead he had a smile on his face as he received his participation award.

His basketball team did not win one game all season long (sad to say they often weren't even close to winning).

Ian has played quite a few team sports and every team, every sport, every time they've lost. 

 I know this builds character.

I know this redoubles his efforts to win, but still it would be so nice to be able to celebrate a victory with him once in a while instead of always trying to cheer him up.  I have to say he takes it really well though and the losses have in no way dampened his love of the game and for that I am grateful!

Now, the participation trophies, however, I could do without.  

I'm sorry, I know many people would argue that it's cute and I couldn't argue that the kids don't enjoy getting them but I just don't understand how or why we started handing out trophies to everyone, for what seems like every little thing.  

 I don't understand why we hand out trophies period at this age and stage at all, if truth be told.

The children were all happy enough to have been playing.  They found joy in the game and in the challenge of improving their skills.

It was intrinsically rewarding! 

Somehow I think giving kids trophies for participating in all the sports, every time they play, takes something away from the joy of the game. 

They begin to expect to be rewarded just for trying.

Why do they need to be rewarded at all?

 Most kids didn't know they were getting trophies and they were fine with that.  I thought if they had charged less for the kids to play and not purchased trophies, they might have had even more kids playing.

But, all that said, I knew I had to take pictures of the trophy ceremony (and good thing I did too since Ian asked if his father saw him and I consoled him with the photos I took to show dad!). 


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