Sometimes I think if adults really wanted to solve the world’s problems, we should just ask children what they would do because quite often they have the answers.
The other day, my daughter told me that she didn’t like it when they called out the names of kids at school who didn’t make the Presidential honor role in physical fitness.
“Mom, you only want your name called if you make it, but they read out the names of everyone in order — the National group, which are the middle people, and the Participants, which are the people who scored the lowest. I think it hurts people’s feelings.”
This was said by a child who made the Presidential list last year, but she couldn’t understand why the teachers would want to point out everyone else who didn’t make it. The way she explained her concerns to me, they made perfect sense. It would be like saying, and now here’s everyone who came in last!
I’m not sure if it’s our desire as adults to make kids feel like “everyone’s a winner!” or what. But let’s face it, everyone’s not a winner. And when you don’t win the last thing you want someone to point out is that you are just mediocre or even worse, that you’re in the bottom rung.
Maybe it’s because I never made the Presidential list that this touched such a nerve for me. But that was the seventies. I knew I didn’t make it, and that was OK. Thankfully, they didn’t read the list aloud of everyone who failed.
Frankly, whether or not my child is Presidential when it comes to physical fitness makes no difference to me. As far as I’m concerned, she has a Presidential heart that’s worth much more to me than 20 pull-ups …
Amanda is the mom of two, a reporter for WRAL-TV and the author of several books including three on motherhood. Find her here on Mondays.