Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Why we are raising a generation of failures...

 Forgive me if that title makes you angry.

You know what makes me angry?

Kids who get awards for doing nothing. occasionally for participating.
Kids who get medals after every sporting event, just for showing up.
Graduating from every freaking grade.
Kids who have so much they can't even give you a Christmas list.

What the hell?

I've been saying this for awhile, but it's been beyond evident lately, and quite frankly, it's driving me crazy.  When I was younger (and no, I didn't walk to school both way, with no shoes, in the snow...) we graduated from HIGH school. Like, we worked our asses off for 13 years and THEN we got to make a big deal out of graduation. Now, kids graduate from preschool, kindergarden, 5th grade, 6th grade, 8th grade...hell, by the time they become a senior graduation really isn't all that big of a deal anymore since we've already done it 5 times before...
don't get me wrong. An awards ceremony to honor the kids who perform awesome or show up everyday, then let's hook it up. But as I sat there listening to my son's 6th grade graduation today and EVERY. SINGLE. STUDENT had a "high academic achievement" award or something similar to that, it made me wonder. Then she called Ayden Joe (love you kid, don't get me wrong) awarding him for his mastery level math and yada, yada, yada, and I wanted to stand up in Church and say "don't lie in front of God, lady!!! Who are you kidding??" (Sidenote: Ayden struggled with math and continued to get worse as the year went on. Don't worry, we are hooking him up with a tutor for summer...) In all honesty, the award Ayden should have received would probably have been "bathroom monitor" and possibly an "adapting to change" (since he started a new school this year)...but academically...unless you get all A's or some crazy high GPA, why are we rewarding kids for being average???
Makes me feel like we are raising a society of mediocre kids who only strive to be "average" since what's the point in putting in the hard work, I'm gonna get my medal and a snack cake anyways??
It's so crazy to me. Same with sports...why even strive to be the best anymore?
Here we go again...when I was younger, not everyone got medals...and I'll tell you losing those tournaments and learning to lose gracefully was one of the hardest things I've ever done. I'll never forget the time my senior year when I got so mad after striking out I threw my bat. Lesson to me as I got yanked from the game, but I was lucky enough to have a coach teach my about acceptable ways to lose gracefully. It also made winning those games and tourneys so much sweeter.

My family had a little pow wow at the start of summer and talked about a few things that we wanted to do this summer. One of them included the couch to 5K training plan (and that somewhat stemmed from Ayden's comment about wanting to lose 20 pounds)...
we did awesome for a week or 2, but now I'm fighting with them every run, and they whine and pout because they don't want to do it anymore...and all I can think is, it's because no one ever makes them finish strong, teaches them to be mentally tough, and they are rewarded for doing things half-ass.
When I do it...I'm "the meanest mom every who doesn't understand...."  same goes for my husband. But geesh, I just want them to set a goal and achieve it. Like, let's get this show on the road already.

Am I way off base?
Because I might be.
I realize I can be a little...harsh sometimes.
But I really just want what's best for the monkeys, and I want them to be successful and know how to win and lose gracefully, be grateful for what they have and learn how to reach within themselves to push to the next level because I firmly believe you can do anything if you set your mind to it.

Looks like I've got some work to do.

Erika and the monkeys

1 comment:

MaryAnn Sharp said...

On the mark again! Totally agree