Participation trophies are often the butt of jokes, and sometimes they’re blamed for the so-called laziness or entitlement of entire generations.
In addition, some critics lean the other way, claiming that participation trophies are actually bad for kids’ self-esteem.
Among all these claims and passionate opinions, it’s hard to find any proof that participation trophies actually do any harm.
So let’s dare to look the question from a different perspective: Could simply giving kids some affordable custom award trophy to recognize participation actually be a good thing after all?
Consider these benefits.
Most participation trophies are given out for activities like sports or academic extracurricular activities. Study after study shows how these activities can benefit kids’ development.
Encouraging physical activity is especially important nowadays, with a national childhood obesity rate as high as 18.2% and type 2 diabetes in children on the rise.
The importance of socialization and a sense of belonging is well documented. Some research even shows that being a part of a group can have a bigger impact on someone’s self-esteem than their number of friends does.
Research shows that children begin to develop positive or negative self-esteem as early as age five. Why not reinforce their sense of belonging with a lasting physical reminder that they are part of something? The cost of a few affordable custom metal trophy now can help provide invaluable psychological benefits that last a lifetime.
Just as important as helping children recognize the value of their own effort is helping them recognize the value of others. Not everyone can be an MVP, but everyone who truly puts in the work can be valued.
This type of mutual respect and recognition is part of teamwork, and it’s something that’s just important in adulthood as it is in childhood. In fact, teamwork is something your child’s future employer will likely be looking for.
Why not instill a team mindset early?
Practice makes perfect. You can’t let a fear of failure stop you from trying. These are principles most of us know but don’t necessarily practice. And science says we should.
Research shows that it’s better to praise effort than to focus only on results. That’s how kids learn to keep trying.
Interviews with dozens of kids demonstrate that they know the difference between a participation trophy and a win. And while they may value the recognition of their effort, they still value winning more.
Moreover, those with ambition will not become less motivated because someone else’s efforts are recognized. People who are truly driven and successful are most often motivated by the intrinsic rewards of success. Their biggest competition is themselves
Having that participation trophy can simultaneously make a child proud of their effort — and also eager to do better. Because kids know there’s a difference between participation trophies and winning, that makes a participation trophy a visible reminder of their room to grow. Seeing it can make them think, “That was fun, but next time, I want to win.”
Ready to do something positive for kids? Buy custom trophy online now. The Noble Awards online trophy shop has thousands of affordable trophies to choose from, and the benefits are more than worth it.