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Thread: The wimpafication of today’s youth.

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    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    The wimpafication of today’s youth.

    It is a cool crisp fall afternoon and the little league season has come to an end. The first place team, just victorious walks out onto the field to get their trophies, followed by the second place team, the third place team, all the way to the last place team. Each kid getting a trophy and being told, “you’re a winner even when you lose!”
    Fast forward a few weeks to the kid’s football game at a local park. Upon arriving late, you ask a person standing on the side line what the score is, only to learn that they are not keeping score!]

    Are we raising a generation of wimps by doing that? In reality, we keep score at everything. We also make everything a competition. (Drinking games for presidential debates comes to mind). Part of growing up is learning to be a gracious winner and a gracious loser. But some people think that it hurts the self-esteem of our kids. Personally, I think it builds character.

    What are your thoughts on this? Are we helping or hurting kids with the ‘everyone’s a winner’ attitude, or should we be teaching them that in the real world, people do keep score.
    Not my monkey, not my circus. - Old Polish Proverb

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    Cyburbian Planit's avatar
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    That's somethig we can agree on. This isn't a new phenon either. Things you hear like "that will hurt junior's self confidence and asteem" has always made me cringe. Little tykes need to learn and be competitive to succeed - or learn how to work even harder - or know that a particular sport/contest/whatever they can excel or not.

    Having said that, the participation awards are fine and NOT keeping score or just playing an organized sport is good until the little ones turn 5.
    "Whatever beer I'm drinking, is better than the one I'm not." DMLW
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    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Planit View post
    That's somethig we can agree on. This isn't a new phenon either. Things you hear like "that will hurt junior's self confidence and asteem" has always made me cringe. Little tykes need to learn and be competitive to succeed - or learn how to work even harder - or know that a particular sport/contest/whatever they can excel or not.

    Having said that, the participation awards are fine and NOT keeping score or just playing an organized sport is good until the little ones turn 5.
    I think this has more to do with the selfishness and wimpification of ADULTS, who don't want to learn how to raise children.
    "I'm very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany"

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    OH....IO Hink's avatar
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    I hate participation awards. I agree that kids should have a positive experience, but they should also understand the life is about winners and losers. Playing the game of life doesn't always make you a winner.

    I don't think that kids should play sports under 5. Younger than that, they shouldn't be forced to be organized. They should just be playing to have fun. Fun is fine, but life lessons are important as well.

    I don't think it is making our kids wimps, it is just giving them a false sense of importance... which is probably worse.
    A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. -Douglas Adams

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    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    I blame helicopter parenting, which makes the kids far more dependent on their parents, in a way. More later; I'm on the iPhone at the doctor's office.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

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    Cyburbian Tide's avatar
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    If not nipped at that age you get the situation I mentioned in the RTDNOTO where recently graduating students with Masters Degrees don't understand the workplace environment and how, at times, it can get intense and aggressive. This doesn't mean we don't value you as an employee and any "aggressiveness" is also not directed at any one in particular. So instead of 'Mr. I want to be coddled' getting the wire brush treatment I have to now treat him with kit gloves. Growing that professional and life thick skin is developed through failing and not succeeding.
    @GigCityPlanner

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    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Wow... this is freaking me out. No one is disagreeing with me.

    I think that many of you are correct. Our 3 year old is starting to understand that not everyone wins, and it pushes him even harder to win. We go for walks and he needs to be the first one at some point. If he is not, he understands and it just fuels him to do better next time. However we always remind him that everyone loses from time to time and that it is important to be in good spirits about it, congratulate the winner.

    It think it will be important because he starts hockey in two months...
    Not my monkey, not my circus. - Old Polish Proverb

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    Cyburbian Linda_D's avatar
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    There's nothing wrong with a little competition. We're living things, and all living things compete one way or another. It's as natural a part of our beings as breathing. My concern is that by giving trophies and not keeping score in these organized sports, we're saying that success doesn't matter. I'm NOT okay with that because success DOES matter in the real world, and kids might as well learn that fairly early in life. This BS about NOT keeping score and giving everybody a trophy really only makes parents feel better. The kids know who the good players -- and the good teams -- are whether the adults keep score or NOT.

    That said, I think T-ball kids and little kids hockey/football leagues shouldn't emphasize winning over participation and learning but certainly older kids in team sports can handle a little competition. Hell, it's why kids organize their own sandlot/backyard teams and play on their own: our gang vs your gang.
    If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich. -- John F. Kennedy, January 20, 1961

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    Cyburbian hilldweller's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Tide View post
    If not nipped at that age you get the situation I mentioned in the RTDNOTO where recently graduating students with Masters Degrees don't understand the workplace environment and how, at times, it can get intense and aggressive. This doesn't mean we don't value you as an employee and any "aggressiveness" is also not directed at any one in particular. So instead of 'Mr. I want to be coddled' getting the wire brush treatment I have to now treat him with kit gloves. Growing that professional and life thick skin is developed through failing and not succeeding.
    I sometimes wonder if this is a phenomenon with millenials/Generation Y. Or do you think this is just something common to a lot of young people coming out of a Master's program without really any significant work experience?

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    Cyburbian Tide's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by hilldweller View post
    I sometimes wonder if this is a phenomenon with millenials/Generation Y. Or do you think this is just something common to a lot of young people coming out of a Master's program without really any significant work experience?
    I don't think it's due to having no work experience. I Do however, believe this is a Gen Y problem that will continue to manifest itself in the workplace. Most people will just be quiet or internalize it, some will not and feel that the entire workplace should cater to their needs.
    @GigCityPlanner

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    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Tide View post
    If not nipped at that age you get the situation I mentioned in the RTDNOTO where recently graduating students with Masters Degrees don't understand the workplace environment and how, at times, it can get intense and aggressive. This doesn't mean we don't value you as an employee and any "aggressiveness" is also not directed at any one in particular. So instead of 'Mr. I want to be coddled' getting the wire brush treatment I have to now treat him with kit gloves. Growing that professional and life thick skin is developed through failing and not succeeding.
    I've seen this before and it's quite ugly. I saw it as a TA as well....parent asking why their child got a D in class. They took offense to my remark, "She earned it fair and square. Ask her why she didn't feel it necessary to attend class or turn assignments in on time". They asked to speak to the professor who told them their child was lucky it was a D.
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

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    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    Not keeping score at a neighborhood football game or getting a trophy for just competing doesn't equal wimpy entitled kids. That's a silly assumption.
    Children in the back seat can cause accidents - and vice versa.

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    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by imaplanner View post
    Not keeping score at a neighborhood football game or getting a trophy for just competing doesn't equal wimpy entitled kids. That's an idiotic assumption.
    Could you expand on that thought?

    Even if the (so-called) grown-ups are not keeping score, you know full well that the kids are and which of their cohorts are good at whatever the activity is and which ones are not.

    Mike

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    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mgk920 View post
    Could you expand on that thought?

    Even if the (so-called) grown-ups are not keeping score, you know full well that the kids are and which of their cohorts are good at whatever the activity is and which ones are not.

    Mike
    you answered your own question.
    Children in the back seat can cause accidents - and vice versa.

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    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by imaplanner View post
    Not keeping score at a neighborhood football game or getting a trophy for just competing doesn't equal wimpy entitled kids. That's a silly assumption.
    Quote Originally posted by mgk920 View post
    Could you expand on that thought?

    Even if the (so-called) grown-ups are not keeping score, you know full well that the kids are and which of their cohorts are good at whatever the activity is and which ones are not.

    Mike
    Quote Originally posted by imaplanner View post
    you answered your own question.
    Which is why my post earlier is accurate. Not keeping score has nothing to do with the kids. It's about the wimpy adults who can't stand the fact that their little Johnny or Susie suck at sports.
    "I'm very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany"

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    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
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    ima and mgk beat me to it. the kids know it is a joke.

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    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by btrage View post
    Which is why my post earlier is accurate. Not keeping score has nothing to do with the kids. It's about the wimpy adults who can't stand the fact that their little Johnny or Susie suck at sports.
    I would never put that pressure on my kids. I sucked at a lot of them so its okay if they do too!
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

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    Cyburbian Linda_D's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by imaplanner View post
    Not keeping score at a neighborhood football game or getting a trophy for just competing doesn't equal wimpy entitled kids. That's a silly assumption.
    Quote Originally posted by mgk920 View post
    Could you expand on that thought?

    Even if the (so-called) grown-ups are not keeping score, you know full well that the kids are and which of their cohorts are good at whatever the activity is and which ones are not.

    Mike
    Quote Originally posted by imaplanner View post
    you answered your own question.
    I think that the problem is that not keeping score or giving out trophies just for participation also sends the message that excellence isn't necessary to get rewards, and that's how you start breeding a sense of entitlement: when kids start expecting something good just for being there. It's not unlike giving children allowances without expecting them to do certain basic things to "earn" them, even if it's nothing more onerous than maintaining decent grades in school and being reasonably well behaved. It's important that children understand that they need to earn rewards, not that they are somehow due them them.
    If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich. -- John F. Kennedy, January 20, 1961

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    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by kjel View post
    I've seen this before and it's quite ugly. I saw it as a TA as well....parent asking why their child got a D in class. They took offense to my remark, "She earned it fair and square. Ask her why she didn't feel it necessary to attend class or turn assignments in on time". They asked to speak to the professor who told them their child was lucky it was a D.
    Quote from one of my professor's course sylibus:

    "Students are encouraged to discuss class concerns, including grade issues, themselves during my posted office hours and by appointment.

    However, if I receive a call from a family member of a student questioning a grade on an individual assignment or semester grade, the grade will be automatically reduced by a full letter grade. Being in college is about becoming an adult, and becoming an adult includes fighting your own battles rather than relying on parents/guardians."

    Students were required to sign a copy and return it to the professor. And yes, he stuck by his word. There was a student in my class that had this happen. His "C" on his essay became a "D".



    Overall, I'm OK with the whole not keeping score thing for sports under five years old, but prefer and end-of-season celebration (i.e. pizza & ice cream party) for sticking with the sport over participation trophies. To me, for kids under 5 it is about encouraging them to try different sports/activities to find something that interests them. Past age five the participation awards and not keeping score need to go by the wayside. Plus, by age 5 the kids are keeping score themselves anyway.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

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    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    I'm fortunate to be old enough to have grown up when kids first learned to play sports from their older siblings and schoolmates. We chose teams, loaned each other ball gloves or played without, and made up rules to fit the number of kids that were available to play whatever game it was. It was always about competition and that meant trying to win. We kept score. Later, I went on to play organized sports in middle and high school as well as in winter hockey and summer baseball and softball leagues. After that it was intramural or city leagues. I was not an outstanding athlete. In fact, for most sports, I was an average, or even less, player. My spirit was never crushed and my parents never encouraged or discouraged me in sports. If the money that is spent in sports leagues for small children could be channeled to providing playgrounds where children could play without parents, psychologists or attorneys, they'd be much better off.
    “Death comes when memories of the past exceed the vision for the future.”

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    Cyburbian Coragus's avatar
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    There are many, many reasons for the wussification of America. Not keeping score is a symptom, not the disease itself.
    Maintaining enthusiasm in the face of crushing apathy.

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    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
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    I have this discussion with my wife all the time. I am into year 2 of coaching my daughter's soccer team. I have been taught to play to win sometime after tee-ball and that drive seems to play well in life for the most part. I am constantly reminded of the great Ricky Bobby quote:

    If you ain't first, you're last
    Now that is pretty harsh, but in competitive sports it rings very true. Last year I had a group of parents that were there for fun. So basically I had two competitors out of a team of 5. Fielding 3 girls at a time, you can tell where this is going. The team did well and bonded well, and a few kept score. My daughter and another player did most of the scoring. They just enjoy the thrill of scoring. Some parents were a little upset about me "pushing" their daughters to excel, but hey, its a sport, and I am there to not babysit an hour a week or gametime. I am there to teach the basic skills and drills.

    This season learning from last I eased up, but my parents are all competitors. Yelling, screaming, cheering. I love it. The girls love it. Now fielding 5 girls at a time on the field, I have 4 competitors, 1 grass picker. Our best game of the year was a "L" in the column, but the fact that the girls kept pushing, giving up the lead, getting back the lead, and didn't stop the hustle for 40 minutes was great. At the end of each game, the girls (ages 7-8) all know if they won or loss. We play together as team, we win as a team or we go down as a team. That's what i tell them (to hell with AYSO fun crap). It has been a fun year to see my ladies develop.

    We are completely coddling our kids with this "everyone is a winner" shit. At the end of each game I tell my daughter in the car what she did well, as well as what she needs improvement on. She doesn't take criticism well. They don't do it in school very often. It is basically ruining the millennials. I mean have you see the career subforum? They expect everything handed to them. IMO this stems for the mentality of "you're a winner johnny, no matter what, so here is you diploma and new job."

    I have constantly told my daughter you can't be the "best" or "win" at everything, what matters is trying hard, and if you fail, examine yourself on how to do better next time.
    Men do dumb $hit... it is what they do to correct the problem that counts.

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    Cyburbian Fat Cat's avatar
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    Fat Cat

    I coached Little League and some football for a number of years and am glad to say we were there to teach the younger kids the motor skills necessary to play ball and as I got older teams we were there to win. I was thanked by a lot of parents for teaching their children both the basics and how to win. I now have a son and a grandson who are both high school football coachs and I can guarantee that they are there to teach the kids how to play ball and to win. They have to know how to play before they can win and as a coach you do go over why there are losses and why there are wins and how to improve your game playing abilities.
    As referenced in earlier comments here, you have not done them any favors if you give out trophies that are not earned.

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