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Annual Survey of Today's Children Reveals 60% Believe in Participation Trophies

Annual Survey of Today's Children Reveals 60% of Children Believe in Participation Trophies

Highlights has released the results of its eighth annual poll- the State of the Kid report- to reveal how kids today view discipline, indulgence and participation trophies.

The survey was conducted between April and May 2015 for 1,754 girls and boys ages six to twelve to give parents and teachers a child's perspective on what its like growing up today.

"One of our goals at Highlights is to support parents in raising children to be their best selves," the report said, and in order to do so its survey asked children how their parents disciplined them and how they reacted to the respective disciplinary measures.

"Discipline and setting limits need to come from parents. To take the pulse of discipline today, we thought we’d peek into the current climate of family life from the child’s point of view, and asked kids if they think their parents are strict or easygoing," the report said.

40 percent of children, the report found, considered their parents to be strict.

The report then "took a more lighthearted look into kids’ feelings about discipline and asked them to project into the future and tell us, if they were a mom or a dad, how would they discipline their child?"

"Our survey respondents were split on this issue. Twenty-seven percent said they would most likely impose a time out or grounding, followed by taking away an important item (mostly electronics) or a privilege at 24%."

But according to experts, though children today are most likely to be punished with time-outs from playtime or electronics, parents and educators should experiment with "time-ins" for more constructive means of discipline.

"'Next time the need for discipline arises, parents might consider a ‘time-in’: forging a loving connection, such as sitting with the child and talking or comforting. Some time to calm down can be extremely valuable for children, teaching them how to pause and reflect on their behavior. Especially for younger children, such reflection is created in relationship, not in isolation. And all of this will make parenting a whole lot more effective and rewarding in the long run,'" say Daniel J. Siegel, MD, and Tina Payne Bryson, PhD, authors of the new book No-Drama Discipline and the best-selling The Whole-Brain Child.

When it comes to rewarding children, the survey found that 56 percent of children do not receive an allowance, while 34 percent of children receive an allowance for doing chores and 10 percent of children receive an allowance without any responsibility.

According to experts, as financial literacy becomes a huge issue into today's growing children, providing children with compensation for chores is a valuable way to start teaching money management early.

"Experts at Healthykids.org suggest that it’s good to let kids use [allowance money] for fun things, not essential purchases such as food or clothing. This lets kids make buying decisions—and mistakes—without dire consequences," the report said.

The report also analyzed how children feel about competition, and found that 60% of children surveyed felt that everyone- not just winners- should get a trophy when playing sports, a huge talking point these days for parents who feel as if the practice of rewarding losers creates sheepish adults.

"Although opinions vary about who deserves recognition, the reasons behind those feelings are similar—kids in both camps cite hard work and fairness as justification for both sides of the argument," the report said.

Read the full State of the Kid report here.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

10/19/2015

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