One of my favorite guilty pleasures that Netflix has introduced me to over the past few weeks has been TLC’s reality show Toddlers & Tiaras. One of the things that stands out to me most about the families featured on the show are the fact that the children’s rooms are overflowing with trophies and sashes. Growing up, I never felt like I was the kind of person who got a lot of trophies or similar awards. To be fair, I did get some forms of recognition. From school, there were academic awards printed on nice paper signed by my teacher and the principal. A local storytelling festival handed out medals to the chosen participants. For winning third-place in my fourth-grade science fair I received my only trophy, one which I have to admit is significantly smaller and less-sparkly than the ones handed out at pageants.
All this thinking about awards made me realize how much I’ve valued these visible tokens of recognition. Today, as I glanced around my room, I realized that I have four prominently displayed, and many more piled up in my closet. While it’s nice to think that people are motivated by factors other than gaining recognition, sometimes getting recognition is nice. These tokens of appreciation make me feel valued, and when I’m feeling blue they remind me that I have been of some value in my life.
What are your thoughts on trophies, medals, and certificates? Are they worthwhile for kids or not?