What was once an innocent expression of rewarding children for hard work has since turned into a controversial subject in our country. Participation trophies were a staple of children’s sporting leagues and competitions for a couple decades, but there has been a recent backlash in public opinion, with many critics believing that participation trophies make children entitled.
The truth is that participation trophies can be an important element in any competition. Here are a few reasons why participation trophies and personalized plaques in Wyoming should continue to be a staple in children’s competitions moving forward:
- They reward effort: At such a young age, children need to be praised for their effort as much as (if not more than) they are for their accomplishments. Positive reinforcement for putting in hard work, even if they did not “win,” can help to ensure that they will continue to work hard in their future endeavors. In fact, there is plenty of evidence to suggest that praising children only for their accomplishments and not for their effort can actually have a negative effect on the effort they contribute in the long run.
- They provide a boost of confidence: The vast majority of children will never participate on a championship team, or will never win an individual competition. By only praising the winner, these organizations are neglecting a good 95 percent of children who put themselves out there and worked hard. While they may not have finished in the top spot, they deserve recognition for their efforts as well, especially at an age when confidence can be sorely lacking.
- They keep children involved: Positive reinforcement and confidence boosts give children a reason to stick around and stay involved in their activity. It can be easy to feel like you want to give up when you never win and no one recognizes the effort and time you put in. Participation trophies, therefore, can help to encourage perseverance and continued involvement.
- They are a good keepsake: Children like to collect things, and participation trophies can act just as much as a souvenir or keepsake as they do a way to reinforce their effort. It will help them reflect on competition in a positive light, encouraging them to give it another shot in the future even if they weren’t a “winner” the first time around.
- They’re harmless: This is more of a response to the recent backlash against participation trophies than anything else. But basically, giving participation trophies out to young kids involved in sports or contests is incredibly harmless. In the end, it’s a keepsake for them to take home so they can both refrain from feeling left out while also feeling like they’ve been recognized for their efforts. It’s hard to envision a scenario in which handing out participation trophies could be harmful to a child’s psyche.
Considering personalized plaques in Wyoming for your next competition or sporting event? Contact us today at USA Plaques and we’ll be pleased to design your participation trophies.