I recently received photo of a certificate presented to my great-nephew. It left me totally exasperated by the need to applaud the unremarkable and the mediocre.
Please allow me to explain before sending me to Katie-Hopkins-hell.
My great-nephew is just 3 months old. The certificate was for a Sensory Class Sports Day (don’t ask, I haven’t the faintest idea). I was left asking who’s this for? What’s the point? How did I make it through to adulthood without a sensory class? And am I now officially a cheerless killjoy?
It also reminded me of a school awards ceremony I attended recently. It began well enough – rational awards paying tribute to children in recognition of achievement and improvement ……..
But then it disintegrated into something a little bit foolish. An award for being smiley. One for behaving nicely in class. Another for doing their best…… and so the madness went on. Had it not felt so totally depressing I’d have LOL.
Can no-one see how this need for inclusiveness totally diminishes the currency of receiving an award? Is it not inevitable that this will lead to a deterioration of striving for excellence – there’d be no point, they’re going to get an award either way.
But the saddest aspect of all was the sure knowledge that the children involved knew perfectly well they were being rewarded for bugger all. How demeaning.
Lavishing facile praise upon a child who’s produced something mediocre does little for their confidence ……the child knows you’re giving them a croc of shit, because they know they could have done a whole lot better. I’ve seen it so many times, and instead of building confidence it has the opposite affect …..they lose trust….. in themselves, in you, and in knowing when praise is truly deserved
…….Personally, I blame the Americans…… they give a standing ovation for taking a big breath!