This gem is from Cyanide and Happiness.
I am giving a transcript (below the comic) because I believe there is great wisdom and truth in the words of this comic.
Son: Hey Dad, I got an F in the spelling bee and a participation award! I did good, huh?
Dad: No kiddo, you did absolutely dreadful.
Dad: See, despite what everyone at school is constantly telling you, you aren’t special. You are special to me, because you’re my son. However, you aren’t special to everybody else. You see, being held in high esteem by people who aren’t your parents is often something you have to earn through a positive contribution to society. You’d do that by developing likable and useful qualities.
How Can you do that if you’re never told your’ not good at something? This is the problem with kids these today. Everyone things they’re entitled to something just because they take part. You aren’t encouraged to put effort into anything, because you’re still going to be told you did good no matter how badly you do.
Ooooh, Well done for trying. It doesn’t matter if you were the worst, you did great.
Just because you participated doesn’t mean you deserve a treat. How does that promote the desire to develop a skillset? All the results in is a society full o imbecilic, narcissistic mutton heads. Who think they’re too cool for stuff like spelling. Do you see?
Son: do I get an award for listening to you?
Dad: Eventually, yes. The true reward will be a proper education and understanding of the world, and with that, the true respect of your peers.
Son: How about ice cream?