Man Tells LinkedIn He Made His Son Cry By Beating Him In A Game Because He 'Doesn't Believe In Participation Trophies'

There's no crying in Mario Kart.

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For some families, playing video games with their kids can be a great way to have fun and connect. But one man is taking a bit of a unique approach.

Nat Berman, a self-described executive coach, high-performance specialist and business strategist, has generated quite a reaction on LinkedIn after sharing his parenting approach.

Nat Berman told LinkedIn he was using Mario Kart to teach his son a lesson.

“I beat my son multiple times at Mario Kart today. He was crying. Yup. Literally crying.” He wrote.


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Photo: LinkedIn

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He then shares that his wife has discouraged the behavior, and asked him to let his son win a game every once in a while. He allegedly told her: “I don’t believe in participation trophies”.


He then goes on to emphasize that he does want his son to cry when he’s beaten in games like this, because it shows that he cares. Berman acknowledges that there’s a time and place for encouragement to boost confidence, but he doesn’t believe this is it.

“There’s no better time, and no better place than the present for them to always learn that it’s OK to lose. What’s not OK is to stop trying,” he writes.

Berman clearly wants this to be a lesson to his son to get back up again and keep trying after a loss, no matter how upsetting. The moral of his story is this: “What’s not OK is to believe that life is going to be handed to you.”

He signs off his message with a message to his followers, saying that if they want an understanding of what it means to be successful, they should DM him.


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The original post appears to have been received positively, as the reactions primarily show thumbs up, hearts, and clapping, but other Internet users haven’t quite agreed.

This post was screenshotted and reposted to Reddit, under the subreddit “LinkedIn Lunatics.” The comments are largely critical.

“He's really flexing beating his kid at f--king Mario kart” one user writes, mocking the fact that Berman is using this as a moral lesson to professional followers on LinkedIn.

Another person comments on the man’s job position, saying: “Sorry I’m looking for an executive coach who has enough emotional intelligence not to brag about humiliating a child to a global audience.”


Still, more comments suggest that these experiences will likely sour the relationship between the son and his father.

“Yeah, my dad did that,” one Redditor writes, “and now we don't talk anymore.”

Another writes a breakdown of the post, saying there are two possible outcomes of this humiliating situation.

“1. Kid will believe you have to be good right away (be gifted) and will abandon any difficult task they’re not immediately good at. 2. Kid will think humiliation is normal and will be a submissive person until they can reach a position where they can humiliate others.”

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Berman’s argument stems from the common pushback against ‘participation trophies.’

This belief discusses the idea that children will grow entitled and lazy if they are only rewarded for showing up, rather than succeeding in winning first place.

Although this argument is popular, it isn’t uncriticized.

As Bob Cook wrote in a 2016 Forbes article, real life doesn’t always adhere to the same strict regulations that sports do and teaching kids that “there’s room for only a select few on the winners’ platform” can do harm as well.


After all, many workplaces value collaboration over competition, and there isn’t exactly a “winners’ platform” for relationships or parenting.

At the end of the day, it remains to be seen how this life lesson will affect Berman’s son, for better or worse.

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Hawthorn Martin is a news and entertainment writer living in Texas. They focus on social justice, pop culture, and human interest stories.