There’s nothing like watching a primary school talent quest.
Honestly, it’s a beautiful thing to see an array of kids with a multitude of hidden talents such as calisthenics (which I didn’t even know existed beyond 1987!) or aerial gymnastics – or that musical prodigy, or the kid who can solve three Rubik’s cubes in under a minute. All these brave and brilliant kids unleashing their exceptional talents on stage in front of their peers.
It’s wonderful seeing kids prosper in a sport, or showcasing talent in the creative arts or solving mathematical equations, if that’s what they genuinely love to do.
The kids are always great; it’s the pushy, over-involved parents that are evidently the problem. And being a school mum for eight years, I’ve seen my fair share of them.
On our parenting podcast for big kids, This Glorious Mess, hosts Andrew Daddo and Holly Wainwright chat about the ‘hands-off’ parenting trend. Post continues below.
It makes me wonder who really benefits from kids getting awards and trophies… is it the kids we’re encouraging, or are we awarding the parent for their… awesome parenting?
I absolutely love seeing my girls rewarded for their efforts, but only if I know they’ve done the hard work for it. Truthfully, I’m not the biggest fan of award systems at all.
At the talent quest, most of the parents or grandparents I sat with came out with the same question: ‘How can the teachers possibly decide between all of the awesome kids that performed?’
According to a standard talent quest show format, someone has to win, and someone has to be the runner up. But I can never not feel for the kids who didn’t place at all.
I know some parents would tell me this is a good thing – it encourages kids to do better; to experience disappointment is just part and parcel of life. But in this instance I’m not so sure. Personally I believe we start competition between kids far too young.