What We Lose With Participation Trophies

While the title of this post may not seem to be strictly about etiquette, it is my belief that those with good etiquette know far more than just about utensils and stemware. They know about grace. They know about kindness. They know about humility. Each of the preceding qualities are ones I feel we are losing with the participation trophy mentality.

People of all ages need to know how to win gracefully and lose gracefully. In an “everything goes” society, it’s important to remember that not everything does. It is perfectly okay that we excel in some areas and not in others. It’s okay that we are not the best in everything we do. With participation trophies, we often feed a false sense of security and belief that everything one touches turns to gold. We are losing drive. We are losing desire. We are losing passion.

What are we teaching our kids when they still win even if they didn’t put forth any effort aside from showing up? Sheltering them from the realities of life does much greater harm than any good that may come from it.

The kids who are never lost anything don’t know how to respond with grace when they are not invited to a party.

Their identity lies in being included, and they don’t know how to react when they are not treated the same as every other person.

Now, please don’t mistake me. I will never, ever advocate for anyone being left out. What I’m saying is that we all have different strengths and weaknesses. If we fail to identify those weaknesses, how do we expect to work on the weaknesses and to grow from them? Emotionally, we are stunting ourselves. Instead of seeing a lack of invitation as a personal attack, we need to know how to move from it.

Our differences are beautiful. New Orleans is one of my favorite cities because of the uniqueness you’ll find there. They embraces their culture and the people who make up said culture instead of trying to be the same. Maybe your gift is encouraging others. If everyone expects to win, when will your gift be used?

Embracing the fear of failure and being willing to try anyway is something else I’m afraid we’re losing in the participation trophy world.

This year I wish you a lot of grace and happiness. I hope you’re willing to try. I hope you’re willing to fail. I hope you’re willing to grow.

 

Being a Hostess vs. Having People Over

New post, as promised! 🙂

Something has been on my mind, as I’ve engrossed myself recently in Southern movies like Fried Green Tomatoes, Steel Magnolias and Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. That is, the difference between being a hostess and simply having people over. Believe me, there IS a difference.

To start, I’m blessed with lots of wonderful Southern, hospitable friends. My friend, Kayla, is the epitome of class. If you haven’t checked out her blog, At Home with Kayla Price, you definitely need to. It’s wonderful and can be found at kaylaprice.com. She covers everything from making cloth napkins to toilet paper!

My wonderful friend, Dusty, makes everyone feel at home immediately. She never acts as though anything burdens her and goes out of her way to make sure you have everything you could want or need. Absolutely love her. Truly, she’s someone I felt sad about not having in my life for longer the moment I met her. She’s that wonderful.

I, of course, have more friends than I could possibly list, and I’m grateful for all of them. Today, though, as I write, I’m remembering a recent visit with a good friend, Sharla. She is someone who always comes to mind when I think of being a hostess. She is perfect when it comes to details. We often visit with her and her family, as our two older kids are good friends (as are the adults and younger kiddos, too), and she makes every impromptu visit seem like she’s planned it for months. She knows the difference between having people over versus being a hostess, and she excels at the latter.

When you just have people over, they can feel slightly unwelcome. They are there to do what you want and are not treated as guests. Here is the ugly truth: being a hostess is hard. It means your guests gets the larger piece of pie, and the good toy goes to them first. This is NOT to say guests can’t or shouldn’t help prepare a meal, etc. It means they’re helping you, not acting as your inferior.

Even in the closest of relationships, where both or all parties feel comfortable enough to makes oneself at home, you can be a hostess by making your visitors feel like guests, not a burden.

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A few “extras” if you want to take the occasion from “having people over” to “hostessing”:

  1. Have their favorite drink on hand, if you know someone is coming over
  2. Have a stash of quickly prepared appetizers – crackers, canned olives, canned chip dips, etc. It may not be glamorous, but it will mean a lot.
  3. Offer your guests to come inside in a warm manner
  4. Have a clean guest restroom – this is an easy way to make it seem like guests are always welcome
  5. Thank your guest for coming over. Let them know you appreciate their time spent with you.
  6. Follow the Golden Rule

Thank you for reading! I’d love to know what you’d like to know more about. Please feel free to request topics!