NFL Dad Takes Away Sons’ Trophies Because They Didn’t Deserve Them

Image via Flickr/ Accretion Disc

Praise is a lot of what helps kids gain self-esteem and self-worth. That sort of encouragement motivates children to develop and become the best that they can be. So what happens if kids are given praise and encouragement that isn't necessarily deserved?

Just this past weekend, Henry and James Harrison III, sons of NFL superstar James Harrison, were given trophies that their dad didn't think they deserved. Apparently, both boys received trophies that were given to them for participating — not for actually winning or doing notably well. 

Harrison, who has had a rough go at things throughout his career and learned the hard way that success and praise only come through long days and hard work, wanted to teach his boys just that — that hard work is the only way to go about gaining true recognition.

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In an Instagram post of the boys' two trophies, Harrison said, “While I am very proud of my boys for everything they do and will encourage them till the day I die, these trophies will be given back until they EARN a real trophy. I'm sorry I'm not sorry for believing that everything in life should be earned and I'm not about to raise two boys to be men by making them believe that they are entitled to something just because they tried their best … cause sometimes your best is not enough, and that should drive you to want to do better … not cry and whine until somebody gives you something to shut u up and keep you happy.”

As can be expected, this got some backlash. Some parents were saying that they had absolutely no problem if participation trophies were handed out as long as there were clear 1st-, 2nd-, and 3rd-place winners in the group, demonstrating that the kids who were awarded participation trophies had not won and that they still had work to do in order to win. Other parents said that these kids were absolutely entitled to the trophies because as young as the boys are, ages 6 and 8, they need any sort of encouragement, even if the trophies were given despite not being “earned.” 

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What do you think? Should he have let the boys keep the trophies, or was this a good chance to teach a valuable lesson?

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NFL Dad Takes Away Sons’ Trophies Because They Didn’t Deserve Them

Jace Whatcott is a self-diagnosed introvert who loves crossword puzzles, golf, and reading. Despite being a male contributor—one of the few on this particular website—he is not in unfamiliar territory. Because he is an English major, 90% of his classmates are females, so he’s not too worried about being a fish out of water. One of his favorite things to do is to raid local thrift stores for used books. He’s always looking for something to read, or for something to put on his endless to-r ... More

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