I’m participating in Ruth Ayres Celebrate This Week. Check out the link up here!
Today I’m celebrating “Participation Medals.”
Sometimes I laugh at awards for all. Often I roll my eyes at certificates for participating in competitions. I nod when colleagues talk about how we are creating a generation of entitlement. I have read Mindset, and I understand that if we reward what kids think of as their innate abilities, they will give up on difficult situations. I know that kids know participation awards from the real deal.
I also know that my kids don’t get a lot of rewards like this. Their teachers don’t do it, my daughter’s piano teacher doesn’t do it. We are pretty chill here as far as sports… take after-school soccer just for fun, take karate twice a week to be physically active while practicing focus, hard work, self control, etc. Like it or not, there’s not a lot of competition in this family.
Today my son went to his first karate tournament. My daughter didn’t want to compete, so it was just me and H. A Karate themed mother and son day. We had no idea what to expect, but we were excited.
Today, I’m celebrating H’s participation. A participation medal… I found myself being thankful for this medal. He didn’t place 1st or 2nd or 3rd in his forms, but he got a medal. I decided right then that he deserved this medal. Maybe it’s silly, to get a medal for “just showing up,” but I don’t think so. Not when you think about what “just showing up” means. What does Participating mean?
Participating. . . I can’t imagine being such a little guy, walking into a high school gymnasium with so many strangers.
Participating… Today, I’m celebrating H’s wise words as we spoke about not expecting a trophy on your first (white belt) tournament. Next time, maybe. He said “Mommy, it’s like jumping off of a tall thing… like doing a dare devil trick. Once I do it once, I can do it another time with more knowing what’s happening.”
Participating…. I’m celebrating this little boy of mine, who listened to directions from officials, was focused, and participated even though his big sister wasn’t there, even though he knew he had a long way to go before being the best.
I’m celebrating how he told me he was happy that at least he’d get a medal. “It’s nice that you know you are walking away with something at least.” he told me.
I’d also like to celebrate…
Time with this kid an entire afternoon including unhealthy snacks and a candy taste test Conversations with this kid patiently waiting in bleachers ("It was so cool mommy, to actually seat in those seats to watch!") Pride - his own and mine And... well... I guess a little celebration for his First Place Trophy for sparring... "I knew I'd win at sparring, mommy. I'm really good at sparring."