Kings' Courier

Are Children Receiving Too Many Awards?


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Do you remember when you were a little kid and no matter what during events you’d get an award. These could include silly, athletic, artistic, spelling, math, and participation awards. Many pros can come out of these awards, such as self esteem boosts, turning a bad day into a good one, and feeling apart of something. Many cons include, such as expecting to win all the time, winning a prize for anything, and not trying as hard as one could. Do you think children are receiving too many awards?

When I was younger, I remember an award for just about anything was available to earn. At the time it was pretty amazing. I always thought about how cool it was to have a flashy golden medal to hang up in my room or to show to my parents. Only now do I realise how not so beneficial awards can truly be.

Trophies and medals used to be a rarity. Now children display them on their walls. In my opinion, I think awards do many good things to a children’s self-esteem, but at the same time they are given away too often. I remember walking upstage at awards programs and feeling very special receiving awards for different accomplishments. I liked all of the recognition and even wanted to show off the awards to my family so they too could know. However, at the time the awards I was receiving weren’t very hard to get. Some examples of awards that I have received or have heard of other children obtaining class clown, best dressed, mathematician, spelling champ, hardest worker, and many more.

Participation awards are also a very common award given out. A child could literally be doing nothing to contribute to a project or in a competition and still get an award. How silly does that sound? I understand that some people want all children to feel included, but according to NY TIMES article “Do We Give Children Too Many Awards,” participation awards can be quite the nuisance. Participation awards set the goal very low for kids to work hard. When you are in a group project or just working towards something in general, if there are awards at the end, you generally want one. Some kids work very hard just to receive those awards all just to find out everyone gets one. On top of that, it could put a child’s mind set in the wrong place. It could cause one to think, “If I can get an award for just participating, could that be how it is for the real world and other situations?” This could encourage early signs of laziness and lack of interest.

Furthermore, it does not help with letting children know that it is ok to lose sometimes. Many hard-working, famous, and intelligent people had many many fails before they could get to the position where they are today. Through those fails they were able to create many wins on their own from learning from their mistakes. Awards for many different things can cause kids to not take losing well when it does come along.

On a brighter side, children receiving awards can also be a good thing. As I had said earlier, I always loved showing off my awards or just getting recognition for my accomplishments. For those kids who do try really hard, the award is well deserved even if it is something as simple as class clown. Also, some children who may be having a bad day can quickly have that day turned around with a simple award. Studies show that receiving an award can brighten a child’s day by 10%. I think that may be why adults are so adamant on giving children awards. Who doesn’t like seeing an adorable rosy-cheeked smile on a child’s face?

Recently, I babysat three little girls, Noel, Kennedy, and Piper. Two of them go to school. I decided to see what their opinions on awards were since they are children themselves. Noel at age 9 said, “I love getting awards. When I go up on stage, it makes my stomach filled with butterflies and I cannot get the smile off of my face. When the principal gives me my award, I feel like I’m about to burst from happiness and then I return to my seat waiting as still as I possibly can to see if I will get another one. I think some kids do receive too many awards though. There is a kid in my grade who almost receives all the awards possible even if he just shows up to that certain event. In my opinion, that is not quite fair, other than that, I love awards.”

Kennedy who is four years old said, “I love awards too! I have only got one award and it was for my smile. The award is very shiny and perfect. I think Noel is right about some kids getting too many because some kids do! But my award is great and I think awards do a good thing in this world.”

In conclusion, awards come in many shapes, sizes, and purposes. Awards also have many pros and cons, but some more than others. In my opinion, children could receive a few less awards than they generally do. Awards do have many pros to them, but at the same time they have many cons too. A child could become not so hard-working, uninterested, expect to win all the time, or they could get self-esteem boosts, work harder, or feel apart of something. In the end, I think it is all up to the child and how they interpret the awards they are receiving. What do you think? Are children receiving too many awards?

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6 Responses to “Are Children Receiving Too Many Awards?”

  1. Bella Panmei on November 6th, 2018 12:22 pm

    I totally agree! All these participation awards really makes kids think all they have to do is show up and do nothing. Then for those who tried really hard probably feels like they didn’t truly earn it. This was a really good article and I was for sure drawn into it the whole time. Great article and keep up the awesome writing Clara!

  2. Annie Daily on November 7th, 2018 6:36 pm

    I really liked your article. It’s true that kids are given awards for almost anything and sometimes it can go to their heads. I never would’ve though about writing this, so I’m glad you did. You did a great job!

  3. Cjay74 on November 8th, 2018 9:09 am

    I enjoyed this article quite a bit. I think we give awards for to many things. I do think that academically based awards are good. however some participation awards are often silly to me. I also think that it is important to know the crowd receiving the awards; because, some children need more recognition for good work, or the never will grow into a functioning member of society. Great Article!!

  4. Josie Woolever on November 8th, 2018 11:31 am

    This article is truly eye opening. I don’t think people in today’s society truly know how to work for what they want, instead it’s just simply handed to them. I remember when I was younger actually trying for some of the awards I received, but I was also just handed others. I’ve noticed with having younger siblings that as the years go by they’ll simply just hand out an award for anything. Similarly to what you said, it’s like society is too scared to hurt a child’s feelings. Great article! Keep up the great work Clara.

  5. Hannah Plauschin on November 12th, 2018 10:27 am

    This article is so true! I agree that there are definitely important benefits that come with receiving awards but there can can be disadvantages. You did a great informing the reader of how too many awards can have a negative effect. Great article Clara! It was very informative and enlightening!

  6. McKayla Thompson on November 12th, 2018 11:12 am

    Great article Clara! I think children do get to many awards! I don’t think society understands the negative effects of giving out so many awards to the children. I think we should limit the amount of awards, but not take them away. Awards let the children know that people appreciate their good behavior. Keep up the good writing!!

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