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Are We Protecting Or Hurting?

March 4th, 2017

Former high Orange NFL player James Harrison recently refused to let his two sons accept participation trophies from their school. “While I am very proud of my boys…these trophies will be given back until they EARN a real trophy. I’m sorry I’m not sorry for believing that everything in life should be earned, and I’m not about to raise two boys to be men by making them believe that they are entitled to something just because they tried their best…cause sometimes our best is not enough, and that should drive you to want to do better…not cry and whine until somebody gives you something to shut you up and keep you happy.” But:

A number of school districts have decided to no longer fail kids, but rather call a non-passing grade “deferred success.”

In parts of Britain, kindergarten teachers are instructed to avoid the word “no.”

As well, one major soccer association (for kids under age 11) no longer keeps scores. Their logic is that the game is about skills, fair play, and sportsmanship, and not making winners or losers.

Swerve magazine asked: By overprotecting our children, are we putting them at even greater risk? Is it really possible to build empathy and help when everyone is equal? Is not keeping score, or failing a test, a way to motivate and improve, or point to a reason to work harder and do better? Can the results of these policies not potentially create a false sense of reality that’ll be shattered really quickly in the real world of adults?

Oranges thrive and grow through competition, games, and winning. They value anything where they have a chance to be the star, to perform, and to become the (recognized) best. They have no problem losing, because it makes them work harder and become more skilled to do better (win) next time.

For Gold kids, it’s valuable when they can quantify things. Just participating without concrete measurements and yardsticks doesn’t allow for that, and makes it very difficult to feel successful. Greens deal in facts and logic – as kids just as much as adults. They played poorly or didn’t study hard enough? That’s fine – now they have measurable and factual feedback to do better next time, and to learn from it.

For kids of all ages and Colors, do remember that the benefit of competition is less about the win and loss, and way more about improvement, learning, and challenges.


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