Impact of School Awards on Parents and Children

12:00 AM

School awards have made schoolyear endings fulfilling or disappointing to many parents and children. Whether the resulting feeling will be the former or the latter depends on whether a recognition was awarded or denied. The impact of school awards is undeniable but should it be so?

Signals of Approval

Whether or not parents voice out their expectations on their children bringing home school awards, the pressure is there. It is but natural that parents feel proud of their children's accomplishments, no matter how small. Recognition of such accomplishments by teachers and peers fulfills to a certain degree the human need for acceptance and validation.

Awards can serve as signals of approval and receiving them feels good. Does it follow then that not receiving one represents disapproval? Of course not, but it may sometimes seem so especially to young children who may relate getting an award to their "worth" as they perceive it. 

Sibling Comparison

What should parents do when one child excels in school and another is not doing as well? Should they dim the light of the academically successful child to pre-empt possible feelings of jealousy and resentment? It might be construed by the other child as creating pressure to up the ante. 

Should they "celebrate mediocrity" as others would call celebration of seemingly trivial achievements to avoid assumptions of playing favorites? Let us try to look at this based on standard measurements of success. After all, there is no such thing as small achievements for parents when it comes to their children. 

My Say

Wanting to get awards is not bad, actually not at all. It only becomes so when it becomes a major basis for parental approval. It becomes bad when it is the sole goal of students, regardless of how it was obtained. 

That said, awards should not be the only reason for doing our best. It is simply a bonus that we get along the way of reaching our dreams. In the family, we celebrate achievements and acknowledge failures. Like it or not, awards have a big impact in the family and it is up to its members to make sure that it will not be a source of pressure, or basis for measurement of value.

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