Tag Archives: parenting

Rewards, rewards, rewards

22 Mar

Warning this is a rant about a serious issue in the world today:

I was going to post this yesterday when I found out but I was too busy having fun with 6 little girls the sleepover I had for my daughters. Yesterday while picking up the chairs for the at Party Central my daughters where talking about that they could not wait till after Spring break to ride the bus again. (Side note: they just became bus riders this week, in the mornings only though. They have always went to daycare before school and car riders in the evening.) I had to interrupt and ask why because they complained all week about the bus. My oldest explained to me that they do like the bus for one reason. The reason being that they get treats for being good on the bus. I am not sure why but this just burns me up and maybe because that is all I hear from teachers, principals, therapist, etc is “Have you tried this reward?”, “Have you offered to do this or that as a reward?”, etc. Call me old-fashioned or a plain out mean mom BUT am I the only one left in America who thinks kids should behave, respect others especially authority, be kind to others, do homework, and clean their rooms for NO OTHER reason than they are SUPPOSED to?!?! Since when did everything have to have a “reward” tied to it? What happened to holding kids accountable? What are we teaching our children? I think by giving rewards we are raising children to ONLY do something in order to GAIN something for themselves, the reward. Problem #1 with this is this ONLY works if the reward is something the child wants. So we teach them that if you are good today you get this chocolate bar (or whatever) however all day that child decides whether they’d like to partake in certain behaviors or earn a chocolate bar. However, what if that child does not like chocolate bars, perhaps they already had one earlier that day at lunch, etc. Then they are going to not even be motivated to do good because the reward does not entice them. To me this is NOT smart. The reward has to be great enough to make them want to behave first of all and second of all that is not working long term. Problem #2 with this is we are teaching kids to only do something if it benefits THEMSELVES!! What happened to respecting parents, teachers, strangers, and so forth because of the Golden Rule?! Why have we as a society tied a reward to everything especially BEHAVIOR? And furthermore what happened to doing what you are supposed to do or you’ll pay the consequences. I’m not necessarily speaking of spanking. I do believe that is one consequence kids feared though. A consequence could be a number of things not just spanking. But this world that we are creating is a ME generation because we have taught our kids to do the right thing only when it BENEFITS themselves. What happened to helping a stranger for nothing purely but doing something kind for someone else. What happened to doing the right thing to avoid getting your butt busted? I can tell you that my mom never told me growing up that if I did my homework everyday that she would give me something each day or week. Sure I earned money for good grades but the KEY WORD is EARNED. I didn’t get rewarded everyday for my homework but it showed on my report card. I had to work for that. My mom didn’t bribe me or offer me things to be good. However if I was at a store and asked for something she would then judge how I had been behaving lately when deciding to say yes or no. I wasn’t offered the toy up front for being good. I think this as a society is where we are messing up. We are dangling the carrot in front of them BEFORE the have earned it. We should show the carrot AFTER the good behavior. Kids should be rewarded for doing good but it shouldn’t be placed as a bribe. If you do something then you get something. I can tell you that don’t do rewards for every single thing my kids do but I have realized that I have been sucked into this rewards thing more than I world like to admit. But from this day forward I will be more aware of this and I will not give in to this “must-get-something-for myself-to-do-the-right-thing” society! I will not be showing my kids what they can earn before anymore but yet rewarding after I see the behavior. We need to be teaching our kids better. This is our future!!!