The "everyone wins" policy makes students weakerWednesday, April 18, 2012 By Jessie DiTomasso
A few years back, my little sister had a birthday party. All of the 10-year-olds were sitting in a circle playing hot potato. The music stopped and the kid that was still holding the bean bag quickly threw it into the lap of the boy next to him. When he was called out and told he had lost, he had a meltdown. He cried and screamed and demanded to be taken home. Instead of shrugging it off and accepting his defeat, he swore the music was still playing when he threw it and began insulting the other boy. I was astonished and confused as to why losing a silly game was so detrimental to him. It is because people are so worried about being politically correct and not discouraging children that nowadays they are being taught that everyone wins, but in reality if everyone wins, everyone loses as well. Parents, teachers, little league coaches, etc are promoting the “everybody wins” mentality and they may believe that they are protecting their children from low self-esteem, but really they are just depriving them of an important life lesson and making them thin-skinned. When they are adults in the real world, how will they react when they fail for real? They will not get very far if they act as the boy at the birthday party did. I am concerned for what will happen to our society when it is full of people who expect everything to be handed to them without doing any work or possessing any skill. When I lose or do poorly at something, I am motivated to improve myself by working harder, but if children and students never experience this, they will never grow, advance or develop a strong work ethic. People typically learn from their mistakes, but if they are shown in a light that makes them not mistakes, they will never progress. Little league coaches that do not keep track of the score during games are conditioning the kids to believe they should be rewarded for doing nothing and that nothing comes from succeeding. All competition will be gone. They will have no value for hard work and commitment in the future. An example here at OHS of this mentality is that a sole valedictorian is not recognized. Yes, the top one percent, which consists of about seven people, is honored at the graduation ceremony, but the number one student is not. All of these seniors worked hard and did well in their four years, but the success of the top student is being belittled in a way. If achievement is not acknowledged, people stop trying as there is no motivation. Constructive criticism is not taken well nor understood either. Some may argue that if all children feel like winners they will be empowered and motivated to want to “achieve” more things. It makes things seem too easy though and when they really do fail at something it will hurt twice as much. What should be done is, society should stop being so touchy and worried about whether they are going to offend someone or not.