When the Pittsburgh Steelers’ James Harrison destroyed the participation trophies of his two sons, he also went onto Instagram to explain why he thought a participation trophy was bad for his kids. While some may have been offended, it turns out research may support Harrison.
In a related report by the Inquisitr, the defensive player was completely on the offensive when he issued the following statement.
“I came home to find out that my boys received two trophies for nothing, participation trophies! While I am very proud of my boys for everything they do and will encourage them till the day I die, these trophies will be given back until they EARN a real trophy. I’m sorry I’m not sorry for believing that everything in life should be earned and I’m not about to raise to boys to be men by making them believe that they are entitled to something just because they tried their best…cause sometimes your best is not enough, and that should drive you to want to do better…not cry and whine until somebody gives you something to shut u up and keep you happy. #harrisonfamilyvalues”
The concept that “everyone is a winner” has been controversial for years. While James Harrison did not provide any statistics for supporting his position, the Steelers defense man can sit the bench this time out since it has already been done for him.
According to Psychology Today, a Stanford researcher named Carol Dweck has studied this type of issue for 40 years and she believes that giving kids too much praise may lead to less resilient children.
“Parents should take away the fact that they are not giving their children a gift when they tell them how brilliant and talented they are,” she said.
Instead of handing out participation trophies to every child, Dweck says that parents like James Harrison should refocus their praise so that it can adjust their children’s “approach to difficult tasks, their ability to strategize and concentrate.” Jean M. Twenge, author of The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement, also says parents should focus on promoting healthy self confidence instead of a falsely inflated ego.
“We want to encourage effort, especially among young kids,” Twenge said. “But the ‘everybody gets a trophy’ mentality basically says that you’re going to get rewarded just for showing up. That won’t build true self-esteem; instead, it builds this empty sense of ‘I’m just fantastic, not because I did anything but just because I’m here.'”
Do you agree with the Pittsburgh Steelers’ James Harrison about participation trophies?
[Image via CBS]