To Prize or Not To Prize…


Every time I look at her wall, I wonder if I ought to take these down.

Ava is proud of her awards. But sometimes I feel she thinks it’s a reflection of her self-worth, and it’s not. She constantly looks to fill the next nameless void.

It’s good to improve and accomplish skills and interests, but do we need to have the awards and trophies for all to see? Do we need them in order to confirm our value?

Our friend Howard earned a Harvard MBA. But he would never tell you that. Instead, he will tell you about his volunteer activities, his wedding officiant work and his editorials for The San Francisco Bay Times. Howard is cheerful, selfless and fulfilled.  I worry that Ava will develop ulcers by the time she’s 15. Her sense of accomplishment is always fleeting and then she’s right back to anxiety and stress as she strives to achieve another.

I want to do right by my daughters. My hope is always that they will be happy regardless of what the “world” says and that they will seek self-satisfaction before praise from others.