Opinion: Participation awards are hurting children

Riann Masi, Writer

Competitions, sports teams, and summer programs are all activities that contribute to handing out participation awards. These awards are to recognize a child for their participation in their activity. The award is given to make the child feel that he or she did not lose, but did the best they could. 

“Someone who doesn’t necessarily win much could appreciate the award more,” senior Gracie Olsen said. “Someone who tends to win more would not take value in the award as much as those who receive the award more.” 

Participation awards send an uncertain message to those who are competing and receiving those awards. Competing for trophies and awards can cause children and teens to have a sense of anxiety to over perform to receive that reward. 

According to an article by K2Awards, giving out participation awards can backfire significantly. The award can cause kids to not try as hard because they will come to expect an award no matter what they do. The attitude of the children’s efforts will change because they are seeing everyone receiving the same award. 

Giving awards to children in the form of a participation award can both help and hurt the child. The award can help him or her by letting them know they were a part of the competition, but it can also hurt the child by giving them false hope that in every competition they will receive an award. 

Participation awards lead children to believe they will be receiving awards in any competition they partake in, thus not giving the child a chance to understand life does not give participation awards.