Awards gone wild!

awards gone wild school yard style

Being a work from home mom allows me the opportunity to be available for many activities. Class trips, volunteering at my childrens school, and awards ceremonies, are a few things I make it my business not to miss.  So you can only imagine my reaction Sunday afternoon as I hopped along, (I sprained my ankle), and took one more look in JD’s backpack to find a hidden gem.  You know squooshed all the way at the bottom of the bag under his sweatshirt I assumed he removed when I asked him to.  Addressed to JD’s parents, was a invite to an award ceremony.  I instantly canceled my appointments for today and planned to attend hopping or not.

As I’m sitting in the auditorium with no wifi, so basically my day is done, I thought to myself what could he be receiving an award for??  Then it was like a tv segment, think Awards Gone Wild!

awards gone wild school yard style

awards gone wild school yard style

It hit me like a ton of bricks.  UGH! He is being rewarded for completing his summer homework packet! Seriously?!  At this point I was stirring in my seat.  The worst part is JD was super excited, so proud of himself for doing what was required.

Awards gone wild School Yard Style

Weird pose is because my sons excitement took over his body, and I clicked the picture while he was dancing.

Please do not misunderstand, my son is the light of my life, and I am always proud of everything he does, and I express that to him daily.  However giving not only my child but majority of the children awards for completing their Summer Homework packets, as well as for attendance to me sends the wrong message.  I think said awards are teaching our children showing up is good enough.  Why will they ever strive to be the best in anything if being average yields the same result?

As my thoughts began to quiet down in my head I listened on as another teacher awarded two new students to the school with newcomer awards!  I am all for welcoming the new kid, but an award for switching schools? Where does it end?  Is it just me?  What are your thoughts? Are we setting our kids up for disappointment?


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  • Reply
    Gianna Dell'Olio
    at 9:57 pm

    Since the summer homework is optional (and extensive ), I think the certificate is a great way to acknowledge their efforts and work. Quite simply it is a piece of paper but a great moment to share with the school community. It also teaches the values of setting goals and being determined. My daughter also received an award tonight from Assemblyman Benedetto for completing the summer reading challenge. Considering the size of his district, the turnout was small….25 families perhaps. However the event was great and it focused on family, community and education. We attended with my mom and we ran into some old friends. Everyone enjoyed a pizza party and Michael Benedetto spoke to the children about his role in the Assembly and his commitment to the summer reading challenge. He praised the children and families for their hard work and then handed out the certificates. Perhaps we need more of these opportunities for ourselves and our children.

  • Reply
    Dea Viola
    at 10:15 pm

    I feel the same way as you. Not to say rewards of any kind, including awards are not ok. They work wonders as a tool, but not as a system. If you are rewarding children for what is expected of them, you are definitely lowering their expectation of themselves in terms of achieving and pursuing higher goals, but most of all, you are creating little monsters! To many incentives lead to entitlement. Entitled children don’t know consequences or failure which are tremendously important tools when teaching about the overall value of life in general! There! Just had to say it!

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