Monday, February 25, 2013

Everyone is NOT a winner.

Have you seen this photo circling around Facebook or Pinterest?

photo source

The reason why I post this is because today was an eye opening experience for not only me but my kids.

Mike and I have had this talk that we hate the mentality of, "Everyone is a winner!"
We know alot of people especially parents who feel it's OK to teach their kids that everyone is a winner. In some area's maybe. And that's a BIG MAYBE!! However if everyone is told that they are a winner no matter their effort then how does anyone develop personal drive? How does a person push themselves to be better when all they have to do is sit back and be labeled a winner anyways? They don't.
Someone can't appreciate happiness without sorrow. Pain without feeling joy. Victory without feeling defeat. So when someone says to our kids, "Everyone is a winner" - without apology we will be the first to tell them that this is not true.

And all of this (above) all stemmed from today's activity. About 2 weeks ago our kids received their report cards.
 Hailey did an amazing job! Despite her absences last term she would still do her homework and turn it on on time so she could receive the full credit for her work. That meant some longer nights for her but that didn't matter. She wants to succeed in school. So this report card showed how determine she is.  She received all "3's" (equal to an A) on her report card!

And for Mason he did OK on his markings. He received a few 1's (C's), a couple of  2's(B's) and several 3's (A's). From last term to this term he actually went down on his grades. Which was sad to see Mason lose his drive. He'd goof off and not turn in classwork. Or do his projects the night before they are due so the projects lack that extra bedazzle for a higher grade. Sure Mike and I could hound him to do better but what will that teach him. That Mom and Dad will keep the fire under his butt. Nope- I don't think so.So with seeing Mason's attitude this term Mike and I weren't surprise to see his low grades. So after talking with Mason about working hard in school and how his hard work will equal greater rewards for him I remembered that there's several businesses around our house that reward kids for their grades. Which is always a nice incentive for kids to do better in school. And an even better incentive to show Mason what I'm talking about.

Right after school today I took my kids to Krispy Kreme. They have a promo that they will give a student a free donut for every "A" they have on your report card. So while taking that 15 minute drive Hailey counted up her "A's" and was really excited to see so many donuts. Mason on the other hand he was alittle bummed to count that he only had a couple of "A's".

But great work equals great reward. :-)

When we got there Hailey and Mason handed over their report card to the Krispy Kreme lady who only glanced at the report cards then began to packaged up 2 small boxes of donuts. She gave each  kid 6 donuts.
Turns out the fine print is that the deal is only up to 6 donuts. So Mason was happy for this oversight. He should have only earned 5 donuts but due to over-kindness from the lady she gave him 6. But like I said before Mike and I will be the first to tell our kids that not everybody is a winner. So I took one of his donuts for "parent-fee". He was slightly bummed but not as bummed as Hailey. 

Hailey (and I) were both bummed about this deal. She got the same reward of 6 donuts as someone who doesn't work as hard as she does. Like the photo below equality is not always justice.

photo source

So tomorrow when Mike gets off of work he's picking up Hailey a dozen donuts to compensate for Krispy Kreme's deal. She worked for them so she's getting them.

But anyways back to our after school outing. Next stop was Boondocks Fun Center. They have a promo that each "A" will receive you 3 credits and each "B" will receive you 2 credits towards an arcade game card up to 18 credits. So I was very excited for both Mason and Hailey to be able to see the works of their labors. Hailey should have gotten the full 18 credits with her perfect "A" report card. Mason should have gotten 15 credits.

But yet again....the cashier just glanced and rounded up in Mason's case and gave them each an 18 credit game card.


Mike and I have a Boondocks card from a few months ago that I pulled that baby out and added a few more dollars onto Hailey's card.

I understand that the Krispy Kreme lady and the Boondocks worker want to make kids happy but by what cost? Giving something to someone who didn't earn it. This all might seem extreme for some and that's fine. We really don't care. For our family we want our kids to learn the valuable lesson of working hard. And what would have this taught my daughter? To be lazy in school and to not work hard because she'll earn the same as everyone else?

Wrong lesson to learn my friends. Wrong lesson.

Some might read this and think I'm being harsh on Mason. And if you think this then you don't know our family very well. I've worked too hard with him to get him where he is to have this experience reverse everything I've taught him. He was jealous of Hailey's extra donuts and game credits. He was upset that I didn't give him more stuff. But you know what.... he's made a promise to us that he's going to work harder this term. He's already talking about doing this month's book report and next month's all before his birthday. He did his Math homework by himself last night without anyone having to remind him.  And he packed his backpack up last night before he went to bed. So harsh is not the word I would use. Valuable life skill better fits the description.

And on a side note when Mason and Hailey came home with their report cards Lily asked me where her home-school report card was? Ummm.... I didn't realize home-school had one. I explained to her that she would need to complete a test first and based on her grade would determine her reward. She was excited to have a test.

So I made her a test based on the things we've been working on. She passed off all her upper case letters, numbers, colors, and her name. She knows about half of the lower case letters. I know she knows more than that but I think the font just confused her.
 So for passing her test I gave her this medal necklace that says, "Star Student". She loved it!

But she was more excited that she earned herself 2 Krispy Kreme donuts and a $3 Boondocks gift card. She's really excited for next term's test.

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