Trophy Schmophy

“You’re not special because you love your kids, everybody loves their kids.”

– George Carlin


I get what he’s saying. We’re living in a world today that says, “We don’t want anyone to feel bad, we don’t want anyone to be left out.” So you go to the kid’s basketball tournaments and ALL of the kids get a trophy. Not the best… ALL. Now, what does this say? “You’re all the best.” Well, they aren’t all the best. Some are better than others and some others frankly suck! We are not all good at everything. I myself know that I will never play in the NHL. I could try. I could get better at skating, but it’s never gonna happen. If I thought, “Hey, I can play in the NHL,” well, then great. It’s nice to have a pipe dream but I don’t have the ability and I should not be encouraged to do it. It’s a lie! Don’t lie to me, man! It’s just mean… I am all for making people feel good. I really don’t want any kid to ever feel left out, but don’t you think it’s better that a kid has something to strive for other than being given this false adulation that he is great at something? I’ll just tell you, in my life, I have lost way more times than I have won, and honestly all of my losses have made the wins so much more sweet! It’s okay to lose. It’s okay to not be good at something but then strive to be better. Most importantly, it’s best to know that we all have gotta work at doing anything worthwhile in our lives. If we keep getting trophies for just showing up, I fear “striving” may never happen…

About Michelle Stafford

Super Admin and Site Owner M s ! secret 2013

44 Responses to Trophy Schmophy

  1. I just read that you spit on one of your former castmates. Did that actually occur? If so you are a vile, low-life despicable animal. Remember you reap what you sow.

  2. I have three children involved in various activities and believe me, they KNOW whether they won something or not regardless of what they are given. My daughter knows the difference between a participation award and an all star first place award. My other daughter knows the difference between being a princess or queen and being a finalist. My son knows whether his team won whether the coaches are keeping score or not. I don’t think giving out participation trophies is fooling anyone, least of all the kids receiving them. A lot of adults are buying into this notion that the kids are getting a false sense of accomplishment from getting a participation award, but I think it feels the same as getting nothing to them. In some cases, it might as well say consolation prize on it. Kids are not stupid, and they still want to win.

  3. Bbt says:

    I somewhat agree and disagree. When I was kid they told straight out that you were horrible and you suck maybe even put in the “special” classes. Then today we have ended up with all these people who go and kill people and other very terrible things so i think you give kids all trophy a maybe say this is for best player of this and break it down don’t boost them falsely or bring them down so come back and do something horrible there should be a happy medium so maybe the world could be a little bit safer

  4. Angie TP says:

    What happens to rewarding the kid who makes to every practice, who gives his 100%. He might not be the best player but he’s a team player. I don’t enjoy pandering to the kid who has no interest, who doesn’t give his all. Misses games or practices because he doesn’t really want to be there. That kid doesn’t deserve the awards/trophy.

  5. Hi Michelle, I have to say I’m taking your departure from Y&R pretty hard. I’ve not only been a fan of the show for many years, but have connections to the Bells/the show professionally.

    My own sister, Phyllis, passed away 4 years ago … something that is still raw to me. But having you on the show, hearing your character’s name called, gave me a little piece of happiness and reminders of my own sister, every day. My sister, Phyllis, loved you and your character as well. We often talked about the character’s antics. Now that you have gone, and with the character hospitalized, it is just brings to the forefront painful memories.

    Just wanted you to know how important you have been to a stranger. If there is any way for you to return to the show, this is one person who would be ecstatic.

    All the best.

  6. I believe each child should be given a chance to try everything, no matter what their sex or disability. If a child wants to play with footballs, so be it, male or female. If one wants to play with dolls…let them all if they want to!

    I grew up being compared to an older brother who was literally a genius and an artistic younger sister. I was an average student who had to study for my grades, work for that extra credit, and really watch the fastest kid to learn how to run with him. Nobody gave me what I earned, but I did enjoy the gold stars the teacher handed out on the papers, and even the red and green ones for the lesser grades.

    Yay for getting there, but even bigger cheers for trying something at least once. Try new sports. Try new instruments, try new games, and try new foods. You may not like them at first, they may be hard to do at first, they may even be hard to understand (or chew LOL) but if you really LIKE it, you will work at it and stick with it. If you don’t like it, you can move on to something you do like. I loved reading. I thought I wanted to be a bookkeeper when I grew up, because I didn’t know that was what a Librarian did. Guess what, I wound up becoming a bookkeeper and then a Library Technician!

  7. deanna peete says:

    I don’t see a problem with giving out “prizes” to everyone when they are little but once they begin school, or maybe even a little earlier, they need to be taught that everything in life is probably going to require effort. Those that put for the most effort should get the highest rewards.

  8. couldn’t have said it better. I think I’d rather see my son fail before he succeeds, so be it sports, a test, a race. That way he can appreciate the success/win/grade/score even more. Key word:appreciate. Don’t teach kids to brag…unless they deserve Nananabooboo!

  9. Rhonda Koch says:

    I completely agree! Not only do they worry about leaving someone out…but kids today are so impatient! Everything comes to them so fast….texts, instant messages, faxes….They get frustrated if they have to wait for anything! We are not doing our kids any favors letting them get things easy, unearned or fast!! Let them wait and work for it a bit and it’s all the sweeter when they reach a goal!

  10. Angie White says:

    I agree with your comments however, there are those kids that are a little bit slower than other kids that parents put on teams so that they could be like the other kids. Those kids are the ones that look forward to getting these trophies so that they have achieved something. I think that if you wanted to reward the best then you look at your trophy selection for each kid and make one trophy the best team mate, the other one the most improved, then you know and so does your kid exactly why they are getting a tropy.

  11. Agreed, it’s better for kids to learn how to be a good loser and a gracious winner. Not everyone should receive a trophy, but everyone should get a “good job, great try”. Kids need to learn how to fail, so they can learn how to get back up and try again. It’s ok to not get 1st, bit you have to keep trying, that is the ultimate success.

  12. I remember when my son was about 4 or 5 years old and we were playing “Snakes and Ladders”. He would throw a hissy fit if I won. He hated losing at anything. I would pack away the game and tell him that today I was the winner and maybe tomorrow he will be the winner. Today he is a fine man at 28, but still strives to be #1 at everything he does. At least he doesn’t throw hissy fits anymore LOL.

  13. Jessica says:

    There’s a comedian named Christopher Titus who has a record called “Neverlutionary” and on it he has a whole it about this idea of over-praising our kids. We’re turning them into spoiled entitled brats! They now expect to be praised and rewarded for everything they do, and never learn the value of actually working for something

  14. While my kids are now adults (25 and 23), they really didn’t enjoy competitive sports. They did karate, tennis, etc… I was never a parent that would praise my children for being “beautiful” or “special” to a point of their detriment. They deserve to be praised for the goodness they show and their kindness. They don’t need to be hit over the head with how spectacular they are vs. every other child. I’d say, for example, “You look beautiful in that outfit,” vs. “You are the most beautiful child”. I did agree with many of George Carlin’s ideas.

  15. Kristen says:

    It that kind of lying to kids which lead to unrealistic expectations from the 20 somethings once they graduate from college. I believe this all ties into all the helicopter parenting etc . My husband and I were discussing this the other day. He works with the occasional 20 something who mostly still live at home, and the supervisor will attempt to give the employee shit for screwing up. Rightfully so too! Then this employee phones head office because they felt intimidated and felt he shouldn’t get written up. And, then the supervisor gets in shit? Society is fucked up!

  16. Shirls S♥ says:

    Hi Michelle,love your show but only one thing wrong,it’s not long enough!! The Y&R soap will not be the same without you ,we fans will miss you so much. I will always follow your new adventures

  17. Dee McBridge says:

    I agree with you Michelle We are raising a bunch of dolts if they continue doing what they are doing..Grow up like this and they will all be committing suicide the first time they find out someone else is smarter or better at something..the challenge is to find out what you are good at and excel in it not be the little robot like everyone else Who ever started this stupid trend anyhow?

  18. Kelli says:

    I could not have said it better myself and am so glad to hear that so many people feel this way! Our kids have no reason to be competitive or try to excel since they just get it handed to them. You’re article is great.,

  19. I could not agree more. I do not have to have birthed a child to know something just is not right with all the catering some parents are doing with their kids. It’s no wonder why some children grow up puzzled, depressed, and/or with a low self esteem when they realize what the “REAL” world is like. As much as we would like to believe we are equal in our talents, we simply are not. It’s a fact. How is the youth suppose to be confident about themselves when only to find out what they thought their childhood talents were, are merely just a “complimentary trophy.” Sorry, but it all seems to be just a big joke on the poor kids. Shame on those parents. Teach your child to strive for better and not settle for being an equal. There is a BIG difference in teaching them not to judge others by their strengths and weakness and teaching them we are all not equally talented, gifted or the same. Some children are simply phenomenal gifted and most are not. That’s not to say they are not gifted in other areas. How many professional athletes could do what Steve Jobs accomplished in his lifetime or Bill Gates for that fact. Umm…in my opinion, NONE.

  20. just want to give a holler. new to this page because i so love you. you will be missed and y and r but look at you with this new adventure. many best wishes to you and your daughter. great inspiration to her.

  21. Missed on y,r good luck on your new project

  22. Totally agree!! I have witness this so much as my children are playing sports. I have to bite my tongue sometimes… I feel like yelling at the coaches ” really you gave a kid a game ball for getting on first base” smh! Your not teaching children anything by doing this…

  23. Michelle, you hit it on the nail; again. Break out and do your thing knowing that you are not the same as everyone else and that you have strengths and weaknesses. You will not be good at everything but strive for what you are good at and stop being told otherwise. Thank God our kids are not clones but individuals. In other words, you win some, you lose some. It’s better to know the truth.

  24. I totally agree with every word, Michelle! I sucked at sports! Either you have a talent for something, or you don’t, and to lie to a child, or anyone, can set them up for embarrassing situations. It can also hurt them by causing them to develop low self esteem Erie to failing at things someone has made them believe they should be able to do. Truth is best! Love your website!

  25. I must say Michelle I was really upset to hear that you were leaving Y&R, but now I get it. I just have to say that I feel for the next person who takes on Phyllis’ role, she is a very large part of the backbone of Y&R now that Jeannie is no longer with us. That person has some very, very large shoes to fill, I wish you all the best and God bless.

  26. you gona so be missed on Y&R ,still can’t believe it ‘i wish you all the luck in the world ,but Y&R will never be the same without you ,i hope they leave the doors open if ever you decide to come back,love you bunches….

  27. Matt Bidwell says:

    Are guys allowed to comment? When I see the walking train wrecks that show up on the audition episodes of American Idol I am sometimes amazed that the performer actually thinks that he or she has talent. I wonder how someone can be in such self-denial. Often, I suspect it’s because someone lied to them and told them they had talent. Who wouldn’t want to believe that they were the next big thing if someone they trusted told them that? Why look deeper for more truth when you have the answer you want?
    Simply put, it is cruel to lie to someone in that way. You are setting them up for failure and embarrassment.
    Now I will lie awake wondering about what I am in self-denial about.

  28. Hi Michelle,
    You are so on the mark. I work in a school and it is never more obvious that the tide has changed. I believe everyone should be rewarded for effort but the winners are the winners and should not be minimized. Trophies are for the winners.
    Speaking of winners, I have to tell you that you remind me of the quality old time actresses. Your natural beauty and versatile acting ability is unique in todays times.
    I too will be watching for your next venture as you are #1 on soaps and off.
    You are an inspiration to women on believing in themselve and the saying comes to mind-“I am woman hear me roar.”

  29. Amen, I have been saying this since my Grandkids started playing sports everybody gets Ice Cream and everyone gets a Trophy the kids that work hard and play hard get the same as the lazy do nothings!

  30. Joni Foster says:

    Love this Michelle! Things were different when I grew up (60’s and 70’s). When you one a trophy, it really meant something and you could be proud of it. It also prepared me for the real world, which is about winning and losing. But these days EVERY kid has to feel good. Can’t have any losers! Using this logic, EVERYONE should have won an Emmy at the Daytime Emmys!

  31. I agree with the “reward” issue because not all deserve performance props. However, instead of a trophy for all, perhaps just trophies for the exceptional performances and ribbons, or something of the like, for participation. Encouraging kids to participate is just as important as the reward. By recognizing their participation it makes them want to keep striving for the carrot (the elusive trophy). No kid should feel left out, but there should be a distinction between the over-achievers and the ones who totally try but just can’t make the grade.

  32. I agree 100%!!!! I recently found out this was happening in school and various sport activities now days. I was baffled. Couldn’t believe it! Drove me NUTS!!! You said it beautifully!!! Congrats on your new adventures!

  33. Teresa Kirk says:

    I am just sick about you leaving Y&R! You make the show worth watching! No one spices it up like Phylis! Whatever you do next, I plan to follow, Y&R will never be the same!!!!

  34. Well said, Michelle. And p.s., Natalia is the cutest thing EVER!

  35. Sara Roberts says:

    I could not agree more! I have a 13 year old who plays competitive sports. Not only do some parents think that everyone deserves a trophy, but they also ridicule MY child for all of the extra work he puts in. Which is why he is good at said sport. UGH! Not to mention the bitching to the coaches/school officials.As a parent, this is so frustrating. Will these parents expect teachers to hand them straight A’s so no one feels bad? Where does it end? Great post!

  36. Hi Michelle;
    Love you on Y & R and can’t believe you’re leaving because frankly, it’s not going to be the same without you. I watch each day because I’ve been watching that soap since it began….Yes, I’m that old! Anyway, will definitely tune into The Stafford Project to get my “Phyllis fix” even though we’re not talking about Phyllis any more. I can’t wait until the day comes when they bring you back and you expose what Sharon did!!!!!!!!!! LOL…..
    Lots of luck with your new adventure!!!
    Faithful fan,
    Jackie in Arizona

  37. Hi Michelle , just wanted to let you know that I love this sight and gona forward this on to my daughter who loves you as well… miss you on Y and R but grateful that you are staying in touch….looking forward to it…take care..

    loyal fan..annemarie

  38. Laura Volk says:

    I could not have said this better! As a retired teacher, I have seen it so many times. When everyone gets a reward it just renders rewards meaningless.


    I couldn’t have said it better myself.

  40. Bobbi Lynn says:

    I completely agree with what you are saying. People are so scared to hurt their kids by telling them truths of life because society tells everyone that it will lower their self esteem and we need to build it up and build it up! Tell them things that make them ultimately feel great but do not prepare them for what’s ahead when someone down the road tells them that the sport they are in or some other venture might not be for them.. Now I am all for building up self esteem and striving to be the best at whatever you choose to do, but I agree that we should not lie to them and feed them false information that can and probably will in the future hurt them more than it ever could have helped them! I think you can simply tell them “hey you wanted to do it, you tried it, it wasn’t for you, great there is something else out there for you to do, and you will be great at it and it will be for you!” You are never a failure at something when you try it and give it your best shot, experiences like that make you grow and learn and transform you into better people.. The letdowns give you the tools and the fuel to pick yourself up, dust off, move forward, and strive for something better.

  41. Michelle, I LOVE this post! I have been saying this for years now! I don’t agree with giving everyone a trophy if they really haven’t earned it. I am teaching my 11 year-old all about not expecting the world to hand everything to you, and that if you want things in this world, you have to work to get them, and think for yourself. Sure, I will guide her to achieving these goals, but she is going to be the one who is doing the heavy lifting!

  42. Carrie Trask says:

    I also agree. Schools should not reward students just for showing up. Children who are exceptional should be treated as such..They’ll learn soon enough that life isn’t “FAIR”.

  43. Jessica says:

    I completely agree :). So nice to see individuals out there who understand that “striving” is a part of life and a lesson we all must learn, not just our children, but us as adults as well. We have a few generations of kids who are not only no longer excelling to be better, but who are also not humbled by defeat or loss. Because of that they enter the world outside of their parents with expectations that are unrealistic. We cannot prepare our children for the world of tomorrow if we cannot accept that the world of today takes hard work and sometimes hard tumbles to get through.

Leave a Reply