I strive to see both sides in every argument. I listener and am always willing to consider. I could have been a good judge.
However, I recently heard something that is completely ridiculous. It makes no sense. None.
According to the Huffington Post, a Catholic School in Calgary has axed the honor roll. The Huffington Post piece says the school did so in order to “protect the pride of students who don’t make the cut.” The article went on to say that the principal wanted to recognize everyone in a personalized way that’s more positive to all kids.
Now, schools are going to take away honor roll. This is insane.
Yeah sure some kids are disappointed and maybe even hurt when they don’t make honor roll. That sucks. I get that. So instead of having honor roll out there as a goal for students to strive for, they are insinuating it is simply better to remove the honor roll.
We need goals to strive for. Kids, adults. Everyone.
Remember, I shared how proud I was of BR for striving to get his yellow belt. Well, he earned it. The look of joy on his face (sorry I did not get a picture. My wife would have already made an album.) and the pride that radiated off of him was electric. I would not trade that in for anything. It was priceless on so many levels.
However, in retrospect maybe there should not be stripes and belts. Everyone should have the same color belt. After all there were tests where BR was not awarded a stripe or belt. He felt bad and was disappointed. He was sad. His pride was dented.
Poor, poor, BR. What a pity!
Noooooooo! How would he have learned the lesson that practice is important? How would he learn that one needs to earn rewards? How would he learn that success is not guaranteed and that one can learn through failure?
How are our kids ever going to learn these lessons if we are always protecting them?
Remember the scene in the movie “Parental Guidance” when Billy Crystal’s character freaks out at a baseball game. A kid strikes out, but in the league, kids keep batting till they get on base; the score is not kept; and every game ends in a tie. Crystal’s character tries to take matters into his own hands. He becomes the butt of the joke.
Yet, I am with him. And it has nothing to do with my love of sports.
We are so worried these days of protecting our children that we don’t let them have real experiences. What will happen when they grow up and winning and losing, success and failure, etc. become a reality?
Either way, we are not fooling them.
Don’t believe me?
This was noted in a recent New York Times opinion piece by Ashley Merryman entitled ‘Losing is Good for You’. Ms. Merryman states, “By age 4 or 5, children aren’t fooled by all the trophies. They are surprisingly accurate in identifying who excels and who struggles. Those who are outperformed know it and give up, while those who do well feel cheated when they aren’t recognized for their accomplishments. They, too, may give up.”
We need to allow children to achieve both at school and in extra-curriculars. Their achievement should be praised and rewarded. For those who are not achieving in a particular area, they should receive encouragement and inspiration and a message. Keep trying.
After all, that is what life is all about.