Are You Kidding Me?!

Are You Kidding Me?!

Monday, July 28, 2014

MVP (plural?)

A few years ago, my son's teacher had this brilliant idea to give out stars to her students. Sounds okay so far, right? The stars were big. Bright yellow. And said “I AM A SUPER STAR!” on them. When we had a meeting, the teacher said all her students were “super shining super stars!” All the students were the best. Isn’t that special?

No, it’s not.

I called my friend with "Seriously?!" and “Can you believe this?!” and “How preposterous!” and so on until she cut me off. I could practically hear her roll her eyes. She said, “That's nothing. Last year, my kid’s entire team got an MVP award. Every. Single. Player.”

So, “most” valuable player is now everyone? How does that work?

Why is it that coaches, teachers, daycare providers, principals, et al. feel this need to include every single child in the “best” category?

They are not doing these kids any favors. 

Children have strengths and weaknesses. We all do. Why are we telling them they are the best at everything?

Is this a confidence-building thing? Because, I have to say, if you told me I was the best singer you'd ever heard and I went on stage and humiliated myself, not only would my confidence be shredded but so would our friendship.  

I refuse to tell my son he is the best baseball player I've ever seen when he can't catch a single ball. I'm not praising my other son for being the most incredible dancer when he trips over his own feet just walking. (You don't want to hear about his dancing.) So there. I've said it. My kids are awesome. They are loved. And both of them are stars at a few thingsbut not at everything.  

Not every child is the cutest, smartest, most athletic, most musical, best this, best that, best everything in the world. They are not. This is something we must accept. They will too. And they'll be better off for it.

Methinks I'm not going to get a Most Valuable Blogger award for this post. What are your thoughts about this "every child is the best" attitude?