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Are We the Favorites, or Are You Just Entitled?

Are We the Favorites, or Are You Just Entitled?

In the whirlwind of business, sports, school activities, and social dynamics, it's inevitable that kids—and sometimes adults—face challenges that extend beyond physical feats. Recently, our family found itself at the center of a classic playground dilemma: being labeled as receiving favoritism. More specifically, my daughters, were dubbed the “favoritism children." So, let's address this head-on and throw in a sprinkle of reality while we are at it.

First off, let’s get One Thing Straight. Favoritism implies an unfair bias, a tilt of the scales that benefits one over the others without merit. But here's the thing: in our household, and in team sports, merit matters. Effort, attitude, and genuine enthusiasm are the real currency, not some imaginary favoritism credit.

Now, if you’ve ever had the pleasure of watching my daughters in action (on a cheer mat or in real life interactions), you’d know they’re dynamos. Their dedication, infectious energy, and unyielding spirit make them standouts. However, this isn't to say that their other teammates don't embody the same traits - they are all amazing in their own ways - many being albeit "better" or having higher level skills than they do. This is one of the many benefits from being on a team, to grow from others and encouraged to be the best they can be. Is it favoritism to recognize and reward hard work and positive vibes? Or is it simply acknowledging effort and excellence?

Here’s a little secret that’s not so secret: everyone loves a good cheerleader. Not just the ones who nail every move, but the ones who lift the team’s spirits, who offer a hand when someone stumbles, and who cheer the loudest when others succeed. That’s my girls.

But let’s dig a bit deeper. When people cry "favoritism," what are they really saying? Often, it’s less about the so-called favored ones and more about the insecurities and entitlements of those pointing fingers. It’s easier to label someone else as the teacher’s pet, the coach’s favorite, or the star child, rather than introspect and ask, “Am I doing my best? Am I contributing positively?”

Entitlement is a tricky beast. It whispers that we deserve accolades without the accompanying effort, that our mere presence should be enough. But life, as we all learn sooner or later, doesn’t work that way. Success is a blend of talent, hard work, and the right attitude. And while everyone deserves a fair shot, not everyone puts in the same amount of elbow grease.

So, to those who might think their child's position on a team is dictated by anyone other than their coaches, here’s a friendly challenge: step up your game. Match their enthusiasm, dedication, and team spirit. Because, in the end, it’s not about favorites. It’s about fostering an environment where everyone strives to be their best selves.

And parents, let’s lead by example. Let’s encourage our kids to celebrate each other’s victories, big or small. Let’s teach them that recognition comes from effort, and that genuine success is never handed out but earned.

To all the athletes working hard and encouraging others, keep shining. And to everyone else, don’t dim someone else’s light—use it to find your own path to brilliance.

As for me? I’m just a mom sitting in my car, trying to keep my iced coffee from melting and my sanity intact, cheering my daughters and their friends on to be good people who love others well. Let’s all strive to be a little more like them—and maybe a little less like those who think "favoritism" is a four-letter word.
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