I got annoyed yesterday, and you know what that means. That’s right, another scathing blog post.
About eight months ago, I started a blog for the Children’s Department at my library. I write some of the posts, but I prefer the majority of the content to be generated by kids in the community. My publicity states that I will publish pretty much anything that kids submit; but in order to augment the number of submissions, I often prompt kids with various contests and promotions. So far, I have incentivized most of the activities with small prizes that I’ve purchased from the dollar store (on my own time) to ensure interest from the kiddies. I’ve had them submit things like book reviews, short stories and, most recently, designs for the banner on the library’s main web site (winner of the contest has their banner posted on the site for a week).
ANYWAY, I got an email today from a colleague who was working over at the main branch. She said that a mom came in asking about a short story that her kid had handed in. My colleague pulled it up on the blog to show her that it had been published, and the mom told her that the kid had never received a prize. So, my colleague offered up a couple of dollar store items, to which the parent supposedly said, “That’s it?” and “That’s all she gets for the hard work?”
Where do I begin? FIRST OF ALL, lady, you should be thanking me for getting your kid away from the TV and using her brain for a little while. Do you understand that I’m trying to get your kid to do something creative? Would you rather she not spend her time writing just because she might not get some spectacular reward when she’s done? What kind of lesson does that teach your child?! I’ll tell you what lesson it teaches, because you’re definitely too stupid to figure it out yourself. It teaches her that she should only do things that will provide her with a direct, tangible, benefit. Don’t do things “just because” — especially things that might hone her creative abilities. I guess the fact that I posted her story on the blog isn’t important, even though something like that could be cool to a kid, and perhaps inspire her to keep writing.
But I must thank you, lady, for inspiring ME to put a moratorium on all prizes. I’ll probably get fewer blog submissions, but at least I’ll know that the kids who do participate are doing so because they like what it is they are doing.
You are the worst.