Monday, March 22, 2010

Rewarding Mediocrity

What has happened to expectations? It seems nothing is expected of children anymore. The trend is to reward them for everything they do. Succeed or fail, win or lose, everyone gets a reward. It is present in schools; where graduations are held for grade completions that start as early as preschool. It is present in homes; parents bribing their children to do their chores or brush their teeth. It is present in sports; where everyone who participates gets a trophy. Then we wonder how we have raised a bunch of adolescents who when asked to take out the trash say, "What is in it for me?"

There are things in life that are just expected! Children should be expected to pass a grade. No graduation, passing and moving forward with their classmates is the reward. Children should be expected to do their chores, it is called responsibility. They should brush their teeth without complaint, the reward is that they don't have rotten teeth. In sports, the teams that don't win should not get a trophy, they did not win anything! The reward is to participate on a team and enjoy it.

I don't know who should be more insulted, the parents or the children?

Do people believe that parents are so narcissistic that the only way they can be proud of their children is if children are honored and rewarded, even when there isn't any real accomplishment. When was the bar on greatness lowered to mediocre? Children are not given enough credit. When did people start believing that children are so weak that they can't overcome defeat?

Parents have been sucked into the "everybody wins" mentality for far too long. Not me! It's time I stop complaining under my breath on how ridiculous these rewards really are, and start instilling in my children to hand these type of acknowledgements back. Because at the end of the day it doesn't mean anything if it wasn't earned.


  1. I agree, but how do you go about changing such huge problem? It's not in just parenting and sports, it's everywhere you look. Education is all about positive rewards and building self esteem. Behavior contracts are created to fix a behavior when really it creates a crutch for them. A reward is now expected for behavior that should be expected in the first place. Addressing the problem and making people award is the first step, but how would you go about fixing such a nationwide problem?

  2. Stop!!!!!!what are you people is not that hard.....1st YOU are the parent..YOU are the head..the Child is following your lead...Expect that which has to be done..Self esteem..start small and build on it..rewards are in the completion of the tast..pride in doing..learn from failure..failur is not is it beacuse it has to be done....When I moved into my now wifes house the placce needed repair..I got the paint and the hammer and began to fix & paint..I was asked by her step-father why???? was I doing this ?? what did I want out of it????MY answer was because it needes it....TO this he bought the paint.teach doing not getting..satifation comes from doing not expectations..expect nothing and gain more... Your uncle DOUG Brown

  3. I don't know if this is relevant or not but when I was reading your thoughts...boy that sounds odd, it came to mind. I was shocked and at first not quite sure how to handle it, when my daughter had her 8th birthday party. Let me explain. I had all these games planned for her party. This is what we did when I was a kid and it was the best part. You got to win a prize. Nothing too much, but something. We didn't get party bags when we went to the party, we had to win the prize. I had girls refusing to play the games because, get this, they might not win and thus not get a prize. OMG, I was amazed. There were tears and everything. I finally just told them that they could play, have fun and perhaps get a prize, or not play, be bored and definately not get one. It comes down to what you were saying about how they expect to get something "just because". Most of the girls shared their prizes, so everyone was happy in the end, but boy, I don't think we will do games this year!!