kids achievements

Why We Should Focus Less On Our Kids’ Achievements

Our kids are involved in many different things. They play multiple sports, are involved in other extracurricular activities, and have a wide variety of interests. Sometimes they achieve a lot, others they don’t achieve as much. One evening while volunteering at their Awana club, I learned something about why their “achievements” or lack of them is not where my focus or emphasis should be.

For those unfamiliar with Awana, it is a Christian youth club that functions similar to Cub Scouts where kids are awarded for Scripture memorization, service, and other activities. While in our group time, the youth minister asked for six volunteers: three girls and three boys. He paired them up girl/boy and gave each pair a box full of candy. They each had the same instructions and were sent to different areas throughout the church. Their instructions were to ask every single person they saw if they wanted some candy. If they said yes then they’d give them a candy bar. If the person said no then they were to quickly move onto the next person. The results varied. One pair came back with a full box as they couldn’t give any candy away. One pair gave away half of their candy, and the third gave away all of their candy.

Their task was a comparison of God calling people into ministry. Some will be highly successful, others will have some success, and others will have little to no success. What he said next was his key point. He asked the following question, “Who am I more proud of?” Answers varied, and he finally said, “I’m equally proud of all of them.”

He went on to explain that their reward was not based on their achievement, but instead, their willingness to try. And each was able to have a share in the candy that remained. That is a powerful lesson in parenting. Our kids achievements are something we should be proud of, but that shouldn’t be the only thing. [Tweet This] If we only focus on our kids achievements or lack of them, then their self-worth will come from that. Their self-worth should come just from who they are. They are unique and special in their own way. And they are your kids which is a cause for great celebration.

In today’s “everyone gets a trophy” era, it can be a fine line. But our job as dads is to love them, let them know their value, and let them know no matter if they try and fail or if they try and succeed, we love them just the same. When you let your kids know you love them and you’re proud of them, don’t always make it achievement based. Love them and express how proud you are just because who they are.

Sound Off

How do you think letting your kids they are important, not just what they achieve, will impact them?

Jackie Bledsoe

Jackie Bledsoe is an author, blogger, and speaker, but first and foremost a husband and father of three, who helps men better lead and love the ones who matter most.

  • JC Cincy

    Amen – I’ll never forget a loss my son suffered in a basketball game – 5th grade. Up by 1 with 1 sec to go, we foul the other team, putting their guard on the line. under the basket, the ref says to my son and the others on the lane “2 shot foul” while the ref at the top of the key hands the shooter the ball and – correctly – tells him “1 and 1”. We vainly try to get their attention, to no avail. The other team, I should point out – had had both the head coach and assistant coach tossed for vulgar behavior and was down to a dad from the stands coaching. A handful of the other parents from that team had spent the game yelling and screaming and acting like idiots…
    Any way – the kid shoots, rims out, and nobody on the lane moves – “2 shot foul” – but the shooter drives the lane, grabs the rebound and lays it in at the buzzer for a 1-point win. Our kids are totally devastated, our coach handled it with aplomb, gathered them, and told them big picture, you’re OK.
    My son, who had the ball fall at his feet, was especially hurt – as we left the gym, we passed the other victorious team, celebrating with their coach, swearing a victory speech… I stopped, consoled my boy, and told him (rather loudly) – it was a mistake, but it is better to lose with dignity than to win with no class – I got a lot of looks from the other team, a few from mine – but they all knew I was right.
    Effort, Dignity, Honesty, Integrity… Give me that any day. We went on to win the league the next year, beating that same team by double digits in the playoffs – watching their coach watch through the panes of glass in the gym door – again – for throwing his hat and clipboard – again – over a call made by a college-aged ref making $20 to ref a 6th grade boys hoops game… I hope the kids on that other team learned how to play, but more so, I hope they learned how NOT to act by example.

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