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Wellington, New Zealand
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Monday, July 14, 2008

everyone's a winner

you may remember me mentioning miss 10's involvement with stage challenge recently. because the ticket prices were $26.50 (with the 'optional' (read compulsory) pick up only $8 ticket surcharge), i decided to attend on my own. stage challenge is an event that promotes a drug, alcohol and tobacco free lifestyle, so to hear amy winehouse being piped through the event centre speakers as i took my seat gave me cause for an ironic eyeroll.

a little forethought would have been handy people!!!
but that isn't what this post is about.

miss 10 was chosen to speak on behalf of her school as their host representative. like her 16 year old sister, she has a wonderful voice that she projects with ease and doesn't ever succumb to nerves.

during their day-long rehearsal, they were given instructions regarding how to step onstage by slipping through the black curtain and taking one step to the RIGHT onto the taped white cross which would set you firmly in the spotlight next to the MC.


so her big moment arrives




she slips through the black curtain



and takes one step




to the LEFT



placing her firmly in the PITCH BLACK



she holds the microphone up to her mouth to start speaking when she hears




'come into the light'




totally unfazed, she steps into the spotlight and reads her speech. flawlessly.


so cute! so proud.



but that's not what this post is about.

at the end of her school's performance she comes back on stage and introduces some of the performers.
at that very moment, the row directly in front of me which had been empty up until now, began to fill up. these rude people were FORTY minutes late and showed up at the exact moment my baby was on stage.
i couldn't see a damn thing.

i let lose a hail of expletives a sailor would have been proud of.


but that's not what this post is about.



J rock is for primary school (elementary) aged children with the emphasis on participation and push play (fitness). there were 4 schools entered. at the end of their performances, there was a 'prize giving'. below is a list of the awards they give out.

this DOES NOT include 1st, 2nd and 3rd.

it should also be noted that these awards in MOST cases go to MOST of the participating schools, ie everyone gets an award. for something. showing up?

Award of Excellence for Choreography
Award of Excellence for Stage Use
Award of Excellence for Lighting
Award of Excellence for Performance Skill
Award of Excellence for Concept
Award of Excellence for Drama
Award of Excellence for Soundtrack
Award of Excellence for School Community
Award of Excellence for Student Achievement
Award of Excellence for Set, Design and Function
Award of Excellence for Costuming Character
Award of Excellence for Visual Enhancement
Award of Excellence for Drug Awareness
Award of Excellence for Environmental or Social Awareness
Award of Excellence for School Initiative
Award of Excellence for Stage Crew; and last but clearly not least...

Award of Excellence. not sure for what. oh i know. excellence. sorry, forgot.

on saturday tara and i went to a local dance club in-house dance competition. her daughter goes to this club, but chose not to enter, but we went along for support, and to watch some great dancing!

there were 4 teams in the junior section and 7 in the intermediate. after the performances (which were fabulous!) the judges went away to decide the winners. FORTY minutes later they returned.

everyone present got a participation award. good idea. there were two solo awards. that's cool too because they were well deserved.

then there were 'excellence' awards - 3 for each section and these awards went to practically every team participating.

THEN they presented 1st, 2nd and 3rd - for the two sections.

tara looked around at some of the other parents to see if they felt the same way we did, and there were plenty shifting uncomfortably in their seats. it's ok to acknowledge everyone's participation, but there will always be winners and losers because some performances were simply BETTER than others.

this is the trend these days. everyone wins. nobody wins. people are actually afraid to acknowledge that one child is better than another because someone may get offended, so we've created this ridiculous obsession to keep everyone happy.

to me it's about discipline, and i shall quote dr phil here. bad behaviour exists because parents aren't prepared for their kids to not like them, for even just a minute. we give everyone a prize, because we're not prepared for a child to get upset.

that's what this post is about. is it the same where you live?

12 comments:

Our Home Schooler and Jen said...

for some reason I havent been picking your posts on my google reader

and Ive missed reading your blog

well done to miss 10 what a great thing to be chosen to speak on behalf of her school. Im not sure if shes done it yet but all the best if she hasnt. Im sure shell be great :)

Jen

MamaGeek said...

I so agree. Hard work deserves real recognition not just another common place mention that doesn't motivate others, ya know?

Susan said...

Yes, it is the same here. At any awards function we go to, everyone wins. I dont remember it being like that when I was growing up.

Melinda said...

Sue this is true here as well. I think there are still some exceptions that recognize true hard work and excellence (ie Zach's 212 he receieved at Hockey camp), but the world is perpetuating a society of soon to be rudely awakened children once the real world smacks them upside the head. Most kids are being raised to not know what failure and disappointment are. This was a good post- for me as an American it is interesting to see what other countries have in common (or not).
Oh and I also am not able to get updates on my google reader for your blog- the most recent it pulled was your Mother's Day post.

Trish said...

It's the same here. Honestly, the adults think they are sparing the kids feelings, but it reality they're not. The kids know what's going on.

Most of our sports teams don't start offically keeping score until 2nd or 3rd grade. However, the kids start keeping score as soon as they've mastered counting. My son and daughter would leave their games knowing who won in pre-school. Even in subjective "competition" like art they know who has the best project. So why lie.

Having winners allows for competition, which gives people a reason to work harder.

Daryl said...

Well said .. and yes, sadly, its the same here.

My boss's son is 11 and he was rude to his nanny .. and so the nanny and my boss discussed how to punish him. They settled on a talk about being rude and making him give up his laptop for a week .. then in the next breath my boss says to the nanny: When I get home lets give him that (insert some kid desireable toy) so he doesnt think we dont love him.


AAAAAARGH..

Do you think he will learn a lesson from this? I sure dont.

:-Daryl

scrappysue said...

no he won't learn his lesson daryl - sheesh! this is what i used to say to my kids when they were younger - "i LOVE you, i just don't LIKE your behaviour". it's just something they have to learn.

scrappysue said...

oh and melinda! - try updating to the new blog list (like my right sidebar) - you have to re-enter everyone on your blogroll, but it shows you the date of the last update, or the title of the newest post. totally does away with the need for google reader - thank goodness, coz it was HOPELESS!!!

Melinda said...

Sue yours is the only one I have a problem with- go figure. after your warning about not messing with the settings I fear I may make a nightmare for myself.

auntiegwen said...

Oh we so do that here in the UK, I am a teacher in a high school and I also lecture in childcare and parenting skills part time, I have very contraversial views.How can children judge what is an exceptionally good thing if they are constantly praised and rewarded for the norm ? Where is their sense of acheivement ?

I was asked what I was going to give Eldest Beautiful Daughter when she gets her GCSE results and I replied " My respect " I was almost shunned, I will not bribe my children to do well or to behave, they do so because they are expected to. This goes for the students I teach too.

Ooh check out Pollyanna, I've gone hard core !

scrappysue said...

here here auntiegwen! i totally agree. if ever my kids ask 'what will i get?' - i say a big hug and a kiss and the knowing of a job well done.

Sass E-mum said...

It is like that here. And when I hear Peaches cry about not being allowed to draw on the bed linen, or being encouraged to sit on a potty, I wonder if I'm being too mean. Gotta keep your eye on the end result, I reckon. Right now she's too young to hate me... so I'm making the most of this opportunity to lay down the rules early.