Not too long ago, my nephew graduated from pre-school. We all watched proudly, knowing that next it's kindergarten and amazed at how fast he has grown.
It's hard to measure a child's ability in pre-school, but they do test kids with acuity exams. It's a way to identify the kids that may have a special talent for academics. My nephew scored higher than anyone else in his pre-school. Great news right! A chance for the parents to be proud in front of the other parents, right! Wrong.
His accomplishment was not recognized. Aside from being allowed to sit in the first chair, there was no mention of it. Why? Apparently that sort of thing is frowned upon because it may keep the other kids from feeling good about themselves. It seems like they could have given him a different color tassle, or a patch or something...no.
I know it's only pre-school. I know they're young. But when does recognizing achievement translate into criticizing non-achievement? Is that how we encourage our kids to strive for success? When we give losing teams a trophy just for trying, what message does that send?
Is it OK to lose? Sure it is. Should it be celebrated? No. Is it OK to not finish first? Of course. But that shouldn't keep us from recognizing the one who DOES finish first.
Maybe I'm just over reacting, but it would have been nice for them to mention how well my nephew did.