In March, the girls' dance teacher handed out order forms for participation trophies, which were to be handed out at the rehearsal. I ordered one for Devin to commemorate her first year of dance. I did not order one for each of the other girls. Todd and I share the same views about "participation" trophies. We don't like them. We don't believe that kids should receive trophies simply for showing up to something they have committed to, such as dance class or soccer practice. I told the older girls they would not be getting one and explained my reasoning. They understood and didn't complain.
Fast forward 2 months to the rehearsal. All 150 dancers were on the stage after practicing the finale. Then the presentation began. I knew each girl would be receiving a certificate, so I wasn't surprised to hear my girls' names called. Along with their certificates, they were also handed a trophy. They were confused and hesitated, but after some words from the teacher, they took the trophies. I approached one of the teachers and whispered to her that I did not buy trophies, so if they were short, they should take them from my kids. She replied, "You were the only parent who didn't order her kids a trophy, so we are giving them one anyway." I was a bit stunned and I knew I had a decision to make. My head was demanding that I stand on my principles and take the trophies away from the girls. Then my heart convinced me to glance at the them. They were radiating joy as they examined the trophies with their fellow dancers. Guess who won? Needless to say, there are now four plastic trophies collecting dust on various upstairs shelves.