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Life isn't fair so let's stop coddling our kids

Posted June 8

I may scream if I see one more politically correct, "don’t hurt anyone’s feelings" movement in America.

Seriously, when did we all get to be such wimps?

The latest is news out of Plano, Texas, where students at the local high school will not be allowed to wear the graduation robe accessory for membership in the National Honor Society. The decorative neck stole signifies the wearer earned a consistently high GPA and completed a minimum amount of community service hours each semester.

Parents of students say school administrators want everyone to feel included in graduation and not singled out.

That makes sense because why would we want to recognize someone for serving their community and meeting high academic standards? What kind of message would that send?

Come on, people. These are 18-year-olds about to graduate high school, so why are we treating them like toddlers?

The kids who worked hard to get into the National Honor Society should be applauded for their efforts. They should be singled out for achievements and rewarded for hard work, good grades and service.

I’m not even that worried about the kids in the National Honor Society who don’t get to wear the stole. Sure, it’s a disappointment for those kids, but that’s all it is. The kids I’m worried about are the ones who are getting the message that life should be fair and equal no matter how hard you work or don’t work. They are being taught that other people’s success is somehow offensive.

Those are the kids that end up entitled, wondering where their participation ribbon is for life because hey, at least they showed up.

If we coddle every child who passes through our public education system, we are going to be churning out a bunch of grads who don’t take responsibility for anything and expect the world to kiss their boo-boos and make everything all better.

Life is unfair. Your feelings will get hurt. Other people will be more successful than you most of the time. But hard work pays off, so stop complaining and get to it.

Denying the kids in the National Honor Society this small honor just punishes students who worked hard and patronizes kids who didn’t make the cut this time.

I hope my kids grow up knowing better than to begrudge other people their achievements. I hope they know the pie of success is ever expanding and that someone else’s accomplishments don’t take away from their own.

In short, I hope they have pride in every ounce of success they earn and enough humility to applaud others who may have more.

Erin Stewart is a regular blogger for Deseret News. From stretch marks to the latest news for moms, she discusses it all while her 9-year-old and 5-year-old daughters dive-bomb off the couch behind her.

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