A participation trophy is a trophy given to children who participate in a sporting event but do not finish in first, second or third place, and so would not normally be eligible for a trophy. It is frequently associated with millennials. Their use has caused controversy: critics argue that they promote narcissism and entitlement among children to whom they are given, and are based on incorrect assumptions regarding supposed psychological benefits of self-esteem. Critics also note that some children also do not value them as much as they do normal trophies that are given to winners. Defenders of participation trophies argue that they teach children that trying their best is good enough, even if they do not win.
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