June 18, 2006

And The Award Goes To...Everyone!

Before the heat melts away my righteousness, I can't let this slide by. It seems schools in the States are now looking to start naming multiple valedictorians to stop the fighting. To stop kids suing. To assauge tender little egos that can't take not winning, as they have been prepped to do since preschool. What a crock.

I don't know if we had a valedictorian from my high school. I can't recall. Which means it certainly wasn't me. There may have been one at my university convocation, but I blew it off so I'm not sure. I know in the U.S. it seems to feature hugely in every movie that involves high school or college, and I know to some kids it's more important than air. The New Yorker susses out the stupid here. Whiners.

With parents expecting and accepting nothing but the best from their progeny before they are even born, it's hardly surprising that kids feel the pressure to succeed every time, all the time. I have an idea. Teach your kids how to lose, folks. Imbue them with a little good grace, a little generosity, a sense that they share the planet with others.

Some kids are faster runners; some kids are better at math; some kids are gifted artists, and some kids can play the piano. Instead of insisting your little angel be ALL of the above, give him a real chance at success by explaining that life is a buffet of wonderful, and not so wonderful, experiences. Up his odds of success with dealing with reality; a teaspoon of humble goes a long way.

You can't sue, whine, or pout your way to a more rewarding life any more than a parent can judge their parenting skills by a row of trophies on the mantel. Why convince your kid that happiness and fulfillment is just a lawsuit away?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was a Valedictorian... It pissed me off at the time that there was one per gender. Seemed like a weird forced levelling. Competition is good, even when it doesn't go your way.

-Valedictorian, late 80s (girl)

June 18, 2006 12:16 PM  

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