The Participation Generation – How Modern Parenting Can Lead To Disastrous Results

I woke up this morning and checked my twitter feed where I heard of the YouTube attack in California. ‘Oh great another one’. After checking what had happened I was surprised, however, as it was a female attacker, which is a healthy change from the very male-dominated role of shooting people you don’t know out of personal frustration. It has just come out that the attacker had multiple youtube channels that she claimed were being filtered by YouTube so that they wouldn’t get views. She even had a website to display all of her allegations against YouTube. However, I’m guessing that no one gave a shit about her channels very much, because she obviously then decided to drive 9 hours to the YouTube campus, shoot three random people and then shoot herself. She sure left a legacy.


This is a prime example of the pitfall of what I would call the ‘Participation Generation’. A generation of people brought up, receiving medals and trophies for participation, even though they came last in a race or competition or project. A generation of people brought up being told that they can have anything they want, purely because they want it. A generation of people brought not experiencing any adversity due to over-protective parents, which leads them to believe that life is a smooth ride where there is always someone to help them and always someone to tell them they are right and correct.

Studies have shown that awarding a ‘participation’ award, devalues the real awards. The person who comes first should be rewarded, as should the runners-up. But the person who comes last needs to learn that they need to improve. A lot of very successful people in the world today, were not always the best at what they do. But they are the best now as a result of not receiving the top prize. Give people a reward for coming last and they will become accustomed to always winning and will never even think that they need to improve.

The ‘participation’ award removes competition. Competition is exceptionally important for innovation and improvement. The best companies in the world would not be where they are today if it wasn’t for their competitors that pushed them to do better. This also ties into my argument against socialism. If you look at medical care around the world, particularly in western countries, you’ll see that most have socialised medical care. However, there is no innovation coming out of those countries in the medical technology industry. In fact, most of the medical technology innovation is coming out of one country, the United States of America, where medical care is not socialised (yet).

This woman must have felt so discriminated against because her channels weren’t getting views or seeing any growth, yet all around her were other successful youtube channels. Well, that definitely means that it’s YouTube’s fault because there’s no way that her channel was just complete dog shit. A woman that clearing wasn’t winning and was so accustomed to winning that she got triggered and started pulling the trigger.


I remember reading a study a few years ago on why you never hear any screaming children in Asia. If you walk around any city in any western country, it won’t take very long until you find a screaming child, who is most likely upset because he didn’t get to go to McDonald’s. But in Asia (from what I’ve heard and read) you’d be hard-pressed to find a child who can’t go anywhere without throwing a fit. The study concluded that the reason for this was that Asian parents let their kids run around the city and give them tasks like going to the market to get some groceries. And as a result, the kids develop a huge understanding of independence and they experience things like haggling for prices and getting ripped off. But the western child is spoon-fed until the age of 20, where they suddenly realise that they’re on their own and don’t have anyone to help them.

I’ve even experienced this. Going out on my own now is pretty frightening. Luckily I know what it’s like to start from the bottom and I also know what it’s like to climb to the top. However I have also been rewarded participation awards, and I can tell you they are not helpful. They are embarrassing, as everyone knows that you came last, and they create a generation of self-entitled idiots with no backbone that has the mentality that they will become successful just by thinking about it.

Parenting advice up until maybe 30-40 years ago was always the same; ‘Feed them sometimes’. Kids need to develop skills from a young age, otherwise, they build up this personal frustration and do something stupid, like many people have done before them.


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