NFL Player James Harrison Rejects Sons' Trophies

"everything in life should be earned"

NFL Player James Harrison Rejects Sons' Trophies

participation trophy for kids sports

Anyone who knows me knows that I am not exactly a sports enthusiast. But a Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker (that's NFL for those as clueless as me) may have just racked up a fan in this mama.

When James Harrison's boys came home toting trophies, the dad wasn't impressed and insisted on returning them.

Yes, as is the custom these days, it seems the trophies were awarded to the boys simply for showing up and taking part. And that didn't wash with a professional athlete, who earns a living competing.

In Harrison's books, kids don't learn or improve their game when  rewarded just for participating. 

"... I'm not about to raise two boys to be men by making them believe that they are entitled to something just because they tried their best...'cause sometimes your best is not enough," he continued. "That should drive you to want to do better...not cry and whine until somebody gives you something to shut u up and keep you happy."

It doesn't sound pretty, but you know what? He's bang on.

After all, there are only three podiums and three medals for each Olympic event. If we want to impart a lesson to our kids - in life as in sport - it's to work hard and do your best. 

But the hard knocks school also states that this sometimes won't be enough to get you the dream house/job/love, so you might as well take pride in knowing you gave it your all. And no, you don't get a trophy for that.

My son is only six. Still, when I win a game, I don't pretend that we both won. I want to send a clear message that there can only be one winner, and that regardless of whether you win or lose, you should do so with your head held high. 

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Want a Back-to-School Haircut? Pick up a Book

Bartering at its best

Want a Back-to-School Haircut? Pick up a Book

Courtney Holmes Iowa Barber

You've heard of singing for your dinner, but what about reading for a haircut? An Iowa barber is hoping to turn reluctant readers into bookworms one snip at a time.  

Courtney Holmes welcomed kids from K to grade five to choose a book from his selection in exchange for a back-to-school hair cut.  

Aware of the importance of creating a positive association with literacy from a young age, the dad-of-two offered up his services at a community event aimed at helping children prepare for the coming school year.  

While some kids breezed through the words, others grew self-conscious and faltered. 

"... if you can't read it, I'll help you understand and we can read it together," said Holmes, a barber at Spark Family Hair Salon.  

With a long line of eager kids even as the event wrapped up, Holmes had to hand out vouchers for free cuts, with a reminder to "bring a book."  

Interesting that the salon happens to be called "Spark" because Holmes's idea seems to be catching. His employer now plans to make a monthly event out of the reading service. People have already been sending free books to help the salon build up a library. 

Whatever gets kids reading has got to be a good thing in my books. 

As a former tutor, I saw too many cases of children who needed reading help. If they didn't get that practice and encouragement early on, they grew more embarrassed and reluctant to pick up a book the older they got. 

And I can tell you there is nothing quite so sad as watching a child shut down and give up on themselves like that.  

Image Source: YouTube

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Modern Family Actor Objectified: Has Breast Reduction

Ariel Winter is Getting it off her chest

Modern Family Actor Objectified: Has Breast Reduction

Ariel Winter has breast reduction

Ariel Winter was tired of simply being known for the size of her breasts. The Modern Family star may only be 17, but since puberty she claims her bra size -- 32F -- was such a source of misery, it compelled her to undergo breast reduction (BR) surgery.

Not only did she suffer from back and neck pain, she endured the media's constant focus on her chest instead of her work. She put out a confident image on the red carpet, but admits she was still acting.

"It made me feel really uncomfortable, because as women in the industry, we are totally oversexualized and treated like objects," she said in an interview with Glamour. "Every article that has to do with me on a red carpet had to do with 'Ariel Winter's Crazy Cleavage!' or 'Ariel Winter Shows Huge Boobs at an Event!' That's all people would recognize me by – not, 'Oh, she does great work on Modern Family.' "

Winter is such a relatable figure. Even teenage girls who aren't in the public eye have to put up with bullying and unwanted attention. But in the age of the internet, people are particularly cruel. 

"I could post a photo where I feel good," Winter said, "and 500 people will comment about how fat I am and that I am disgusting."

Rather than leave the tabloids to speculate about her transformation, Winter bravely volunteered her story, and it's an inspiration to young women like her.

"[BR] is something that I did to better my life and better my health, and I think that can benefit a lot of young girls. I have felt happier with myself than I ever have." 

I have friends who've had BR surgery and others who have simply come over time to accept their breasts - big and small - as part of who they are. Certainly many of us outgrow certain bodily insecurities that we obsess over as teens. 

Surgery is a highly individual decision, yet where there is physical pain it seems like an obvious move. It took my grandmother until she was in her 50s to have the procedure done, out of medical necessity rather than vanity. It  was a weight lifted in every sense, and she was giddy showing me her new bras! 

Winter's first public appearance will be the Emmys and Winter is stoked about finally getting to wear what she wants, not what will fit her body. She's now a 34D in case you were wondering.

"I'm excited to finally actually feel confident and not just appear confident."

Would you let your teen have reduction surgery, or make her wait until she's an adult?

Image Source: Instagram 

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