I was interviewed recently for a television program that intends to look at various styles of parenting and the kinds of children these create. I know they’re trying to be nuanced about the topic but I can imagine the stereotypes their audience will have in mind. Namely, the idea that my generation of parents are coddling our children, are too intense about our parenting, that we’re a little too attentive.. that we want our kids to get trophies just for showing up and we’re creating feckless brats in the process. Yes, so about that..
I really, really like this piece, “How the ‘trophy for just showing up’ was earned” by Sonya Huber in The New York Times.
My son’s eight soccer trophies are lined up above his bed. One is a fake-metal bobblehead, and one has a little soccer ball that spins. He received each one for merely being on the roster.
These pieces of plastic and metal handed out by park-district coaches have emerged as a symbol of the unearned praise that is said to have weakened our children’s characters.
But I love them, those memorials to grit and mud.
Motherhood writing could do with a lot more of this… a lot more perspective, a lot less stereotyping.