Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Trophy Children

Grad Duckies Pictures, Images and Photos

You've heard of Trophy Wives. Have you ever heard the term Trophy Children? The term came to mind recently after reading many social network status updates and posts from friends and acquaintances of mine. I am not talking about any one person in particular when I point out or make judgments about their actions or intentions.
My opinion is that entirely, my opinion based solely on what I see and disagree with.

I don't agree with parents who outwardly convey that they love their children and when some one is watching. They loving dote on them, make sure you see that extra hug and kiss and go over board when in the presence of a large group.
I'm not saying that they don't love their children even when no one is watching, but it's not with the same passion.

The same parents who make sure their child looks a certain way, joins certain sports and activities to make themselves feel better. And if that child doesn't do very well, then something is wrong with that child. That they're not good enough, and they question themselves "why isn't that child like me?"

Parents seem to forget that their child is a person too. A separate person with different interests and abilities. Their child is not an extension of them and they are not to be controlled like so. As explained in two articles I found about the term Trophy Children, this is actually a form of narcissism.

The first article I found on UAB Publications   titled Perfect Parents-Trophy Kids goes into detail about today's American culture and perfect children. Quoted by UAB Child Psychologist Vivian Friedman Ph.D says it’s at least worth some thought. “A danger of the quest for perfection is that the bar will be set too high, which will doom the child to failure. If your child happens to be Lance Armstrong, then those high expectations work just fine. But if your child is a mere mortal, it can be very damaging,” she says. “I see children who are quite high-achieving—top students from the best school systems—yet even when they do well, these kids don’t feel that they’re measuring up because the expectations are so high.”
Our job as parents is to raise, nurture and protect our children, not control them and mold them into what we want them to be.

I believe by the time those young children are young adults they are either going to explode to break free from what their parents have made them become or they will implode from all the pressure to meet the standards that their parents have set.

The second website, Word Spy authored by Paul McFedries gives a definition to the word Trophy child  with different examples of how the term is used. It also defines this term as narcissistic. In the bottom of his article, he puts a note. 
Notes: This sense of the phrase trophy child (also seen as trophy kid) was coined by psychologist Lee Hausner in her 1990 book Children of Paradise (see the earliest citations, below). It's part of a long series of phrases that use the adjective trophy to mean "something used to impress others and enhance one's status." 

I feel that our society has the set such a high standard and many people are clawing their way to achieve the highest goal. They want to be the best, have the best and bore the best. It's like the term, keeping up with the Jones'. Who are they anyways?

It doesn't matter. 


Andrea Johnson Beck said...

Love your post! My son is so not athletic, he is more artsy fartsy and loves constructing robots and space vehicles. I know what he can do and what he can't and I am sure not going to force him into every sport because that is what 11 year old boys are suppose to do. No trophies here, well, unless he makes them out of Legos;-) Ha!

A Mom From The Burbs said...

No pressure to be perfect here! I want my kids to be just that....Kids. Get dirty, make messes and enjoy being a kid.

Oka said...

I'll admit, I am often proud of my kids and brag about them to those who actually care.  I have even found myself pushing my children on occasion, then realize I am in the wrong.

My overall goal is for my kids to be content with themselves, in everything the choose to accomplish and those things they don't.

Missy | The Literal Mom said...

I agree with what you wrote here because there are definitely parents like you talk about out there.  Many parents, in fact.  I also feel there are parents who set NO standards for their kids, which is just as problematic, IMO.  They key, I believe, is just what you say - KNOW your child.  Help them be who THEY are meant to be, not who you want them to be.  Be involved, but not over-involved.  Or under-involved.  It's a hard balance to achieve, isn't it?  

Great Post, girl!

shellthings said...

Ugh, that's a scary term. And so much different than just normal proud parent bragging... we all do that. But, this goes beyond. 

Kristen M said...

Great post. Parenting - is - so - stinking - tough.  Seriously. So - the twins : who are separate identities and yet love to be identified together, seem to grasp concepts so quickly.  They are hugely independent and ... getting so big so quickly.  On the other hand, we accept and love Alexander as he navigates through life at his own pace.  I guess I'm saying - *sigh* it is so TOUGH to know what to say to your kid that isn't going to scar them for life! I don't think we are trophy parents, but I do have loads of mommy guilt when I congratulate Andrew or Addison ... and loads of Mommy guild when I don't.
Truth - I really don't care what they do as long as they are happy.
Did I say great post yet? Or ... that I think parenting is so tough?

crazykindofmom said...

 I agree!

crazykindofmom said...

Amen to that!

crazykindofmom said...

Thank you!

crazykindofmom said...

Yes it does!

crazykindofmom said...

Thank you again!!!