5 Reasons Why My Kid Won’t Get a Participation Trophy



Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison is saying “No way Jose” to participation trophies for his sons, and I for one, don’t blame him. While I’m sure he’ll get his fair share of negative comments from parents who all probably still have every trophy and certificate they’ve ever received, I stand behind the guy 100%

Harrison posted this message on his IG page the other day:

Basically, return back to sender. Let’s give this man a round of applause.

I’m just gonna go ahead and say it–people in the U.S. have become so weak, so entitled, and so lazy. We lack work ethic. We’re raising a generation of children who can’t even find a book in the library, for Christ’s sake. (Not that they go) They can’t read maps, they don’t go outside and play, and they can’t write in cursive. They all have smart phones by the age of 7, and they take better selfies than me and my friends ever could. Every thing comes so easily. And that’s never good.


I was born in the 80’s and raised in the 90’s. Born in 1987, I understand what it means to grow up “roughing it.” When we wanted to play games, but didn’t have the toys we wanted, we made them. When we wanted to hear our favorite songs, and didn’t have the cassette, we recorded the song from the radio or TV on our portable boomboxes. (That’s called a “mix”) If we needed to use the phone, we went to a pay phone, or we had to ask an adult if we could use theirs. We rode bikes with no helmets, climbed fences, our parents dressed us funny, and we had to sharpen our pencils manually. I mean, have any of you 90’s and 00’s babies ever died of dysentery while trying to beat Oregon Trail?! On a computer that looked like this??

oregon trail

Of course you haven’t.

Have you ever had to rip the sides of your paper off to write/draw?


Have you ever had to eat ice cream with a wooden pseudo-spoon?

ice cream

No? Well basically what I’m trying to say is, kids these days don’t know how to WORK for anything. They want everything HANDED to them. And that’s exactly why I agree wholeheartedly with James Harrison. Here are 5 reasons why my children won’t be allowed to have participation trophies under my roof.

1. Trophies Are For Winners-

Period. What message does giving a trophy to EVERYONE send to the winners? It’s unfair. I want my children to win fair and square.

2. It Creates Little Monsters-

Nobody likes an entitled little brat. And that’s why my child will never be one. You are not OWED a trophy. You are not OWED anything. Remember that.

3. Studies show that constantly telling children “good job” and giving them praise, leads to lack of drive, and ironically, lack of confidence.

According to Psychology Today:

Too much praise of any sort can also be unhealthy. Research has found that students who were lavished with praise were more cautious in their responses to questions, had less confidence in their answers, were less persistent in difficult assignments, and less willing to share their ideas.

Now I’m not saying NOT to praise your kids EVER, but the praise should come when they’ve actually done something worth praising, and even then it shouldn’t be just a simple “good job,” it should be very specific. Let them know what they did to deserve the praise, and ask them questions about how they feel about their performance, and what they need to change or keep the same in the future.

4. That’s not how life works-

I come from a family of realists. My parents exposed me to a lot at an early age. One thing I learned from my parents early on is that hard work pays off. You have to WORK to get rewarded. Though that’s not always the case, it is more often than not. You don’t get a raise by simply showing up to work. You have to DO something that warrants a raise. I want to prepare my children for reality. People aren’t just going to hand you trophies throughout your life. Swift kicks in the ass? Yes. Trophies? No.

5. Defeat is Inevitable-

You don’t always win, even when you put up a good fight. You have to be able to accept your loss, recover from it, and do better next time. What happens when you never “lose”, and you finally do? How do you cope? To be honest, probably very poorly. You will lack necessary skills that are crucial to obtain success in your adulthood. I want my kid to be resilient. We can’t keep setting the bar so low. We must raise children who can take rejection, and figure out how to bounce back.

And that’s my two cents. Get ready hypothetical children of mine!

So what do you think about participation trophies? Yay or Nay?


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