Participation trophies are handed out to kids who ‘participate’ in sports and other events. Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison made headlines by demanding his six & eight year old sons give back their ‘participation trophies.’ Harrison says they will be allowed to keep trophies when they have done something to earn them. Also a Washington, D.C. NBC news anchor this week described participation trophies as ‘child abuse.’
Are trophies handed to children merely for participating in an activity/sport of any value in establishing some level of self-esteem? Are they phony awards for nothing done particularly well and setting up these kids for disappointment later in life when just showing up does not earn you anything?