Kindergarten awards

Ever since I read Nurtureshock, I’ve been a big fan of actually letting kids win things and not telling everybody they are a winner.  The truth is that kids know when you are just feeding them a line.  Not everybody is a winner.  Now, we should  be sensitive to kids feelings and certainly try and recognize and praise the accomplishments of all children, but let’s not pretend everybody is good at everything.  Thus, I was quite pleasantly surprised to learn that this year’s Kingswood Elementary awards were not for everybody.  They even let some kids win multiple awards!  Pure meritocracy– how about that?!  Of course, easy for me to be happy, Evan took home the (expected) math award and the completely unexpected PE award.  Still, I was all prepared with a “learning experience” pep talk if he had not won anything. This, in an era when field day is all fun and games and no ribbons (I was as proud of anything as winning the 100 yard dash in 6th grade as I was one of the slower kids earlier in elementary school).  I do feel bad for the kids who didn’t win an award, but I don’t think kindergarten is too early for life lessons.

About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State

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