On participant ribbons and letting kids always win

kids and competition
I just went to a fair with my kids, where all four of them participated in a hula-hoop contest. My children are not world-class hula-hoopers. They are mediocre at best and didn't outlast the winner. It was just something fun for them to do.
But guess what? They all won participant ribbons! So forever we can celebrate and remember their mediocrity at rotating a plastic hoop around their hips.
Sigh. They loved the ribbons. They smiled and proudly showed them to Dad, who secretly rolled his eyes at me afterward. There's something really annoying about the fact that we've created a culture where we can't allow kids NOT to win. We don't want our kids to think they are less than the best.
I'm talking about this today over at my column at CafeMom. You are read the rest here.

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