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Parenting > Reward systems for kids

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message 41: by ARTPOP (new)

ARTPOP  | 152 comments I haven't read any of the posts, but I just want to say, I've always loved getting sweets and a reward. Stars and stickers have never motivated me. When I did something well, and I got this nice strawberry lolly, I was pretty motivated. Or maybe, I was just hyper! :)

message 40: by Brigid *Flying Kick-a-pow!* (last edited Feb 16, 2012 12:12PM) (new)

Brigid *Flying Kick-a-pow!* | 440 comments Zack wrote: "Sorry LADIES.
Just a joke.

Ha. Haha. You know, it's real funny how you criticized Rachel for talking about depression/suicide in this group (in a topic where it was completely relevant), and then you go and make jokes about kissing people's asses ... for no reason whatsoever.

message 39: by ♥ Rachel♥, Hey, whoa, I'm a mod! (new)

♥ Rachel♥ sHE beLIEveD (I_got_a_jar_of_dirt) | 767 comments Mod
Aleph wrote: "i personally think that stickers dont count as presents."

Stickers are definitely piano teacher gives me stickers (I'm 15...'-_-) if I get a superior ranking in a competition and they're the best things ever xD

Brigid *Flying Kick-a-pow!* wrote: "Wow, I haven't checked this group in ages. I stink. But anyway...

No, I personally don't agree with reward systems. I think kids should learn to do good things just for the sake of being good––not..."

It's the way I was raised too, with random treats like Nina suggested. Then parents completely disagree with my view of morality, so I'm not sure how well that worked >.<

message 38: by Zack (last edited Feb 13, 2012 01:17PM) (new)

Zack (ZackCantellbury) | 11 comments Sorry LADIES.
Just a joke.

message 37: by Aleph (new)

Aleph (Aleph123) | 745 comments Mod
Zack- Not REALLY 'lol'ing myself right now. Not very funny.

Brigid *Flying Kick-a-pow!* | 440 comments Um ... please don't.

message 35: by Zack (last edited Feb 13, 2012 05:33AM) (new)

Zack (ZackCantellbury) | 11 comments Go Brigid and NIna! I'm go' kiss your asses! Yeah!
(Jks- LOL! LMFAO!)

Brigid *Flying Kick-a-pow!* | 440 comments Wow, I haven't checked this group in ages. I stink. But anyway...

No, I personally don't agree with reward systems. I think kids should learn to do good things just for the sake of being good––not because it will get them a reward. The best reward is simply praise, in my opinion. Like, if my kid did something good, I'd tell them they did the right thing. But I wouldn't be like, "Good job! Here's a cookie." And I think kids should be given time-outs or something like that, if they do something wrong.

Of course, I may be a bit biased since this is the way I was raised. My parents never relied on reward systems and I turned out a pretty good kid, if I do say so myself. :P So, I would probably use the same tactics with my own kids.

message 33: by Aleph (new)

Aleph (Aleph123) | 745 comments Mod
a reward could be having a story read to you, and i personally think that stickers dont count as presents.

message 32: by ♥ Rachel♥, Hey, whoa, I'm a mod! (new)

♥ Rachel♥ sHE beLIEveD (I_got_a_jar_of_dirt) | 767 comments Mod
Maybe. This topic is a bit confusing, as you mentioned somewhere above.

message 31: by Kogiopsis (new)

Kogiopsis I think it could be both? I just feel like a lot of the comments have come off as kind of 'no positive reinforcement ever' so... and if I'm reading it wrong, at least we will have conclusive clarification as a result.

message 30: by ♥ Rachel♥, Hey, whoa, I'm a mod! (new)

♥ Rachel♥ sHE beLIEveD (I_got_a_jar_of_dirt) | 767 comments Mod
Oh, I thought we were talking about systems where prizes were given for good behavior, sorry :P

message 29: by Kogiopsis (new)

Kogiopsis And a prize isn't the only form of reward.

message 28: by ♥ Rachel♥, Hey, whoa, I'm a mod! (new)

♥ Rachel♥ sHE beLIEveD (I_got_a_jar_of_dirt) | 767 comments Mod
A prize isn't the only form of positive reinforcement...just saying >.<

message 27: by Kogiopsis (new)

Kogiopsis So, out of curiosity, how would you teach your child right from wrong without positive reinforcement?

message 26: by Kirby (new)

Kirby | 132 comments Nina wrote: "But in life, you DON'T always get something every time you do something good. I mean,in the long run, you do, but not always immediately."

so would you have less of a problem with a reward system where the reward was delayed? like, the kid has to continue working toward it all year, or something like that?

message 25: by Aleph (new)

Aleph (Aleph123) | 745 comments Mod
I agree with Anila, that reward system are good for young kids- especially when, however much you explain it to them, they don't really get WHY they should bother doing something. And I also agree in saying that it isn't nice to be talked down to, and I hate i when teachers and so do that! Explaining things to a kid is just a better way of handling things. Plus, rewards systems are only a replica of real life work- you work, you get.

message 24: by Kogiopsis (new)

Kogiopsis I guess the trick there would be to couch it in terms of 'you're mature enough that you don't need x now'? It's all kind of theory for me, though, obviously, as I have no kids.

message 23: by ♥ Rachel♥, Hey, whoa, I'm a mod! (new)

♥ Rachel♥ sHE beLIEveD (I_got_a_jar_of_dirt) | 767 comments Mod
The only problem I can see with that is a child might start misbehaving if they suddenly stopped being rewarded for something. I mean, I didn't really ever have any sort of rewards for doing anything (except for once, and that was very out of the blue and never happened again :P) but when a punishment is imposed on something that wasn't previously regulated, I kind of rebel against that.

message 22: by Kogiopsis (new)

Kogiopsis Huh. At this point I can't really tell what's up for discussion - are we talking about systemic rewards, like sticker charts, or are we talking about if/then 'bribery' type rewards? And for that matter, what age group are we talking about?

So I guess I'll kind of toss out my two cents on all of those possibilities, just to cover my bases.

TO my mind, the best kind of parenting style is founded on mutual love and respect between parents and child - not authoritarian, not indulgent, but always respectful. Now, I don't have kids myself, but this is always the way I've interacted with them while babysitting - no talking down to them, no giving sidestepping answers if they ask me about complicated topics (unless it's something that's not age-appropriate) but explaining carefully. This is partly because I was a precocious child and have always found it frustrating when people talked down to me, and partly because (as Rachel mentioned above) I've always been more motivated to do something when I understand its purpose. The most frustrating varieties of homework, for instance, are the ones that feel like busywork, whereas the most tolerable or even enjoyable are the ones with clear goals.

That being said, there are some concepts that can't really be taught that way. It's hard, as a child, to take your mom seriously when she tells you to clean your room before you trip over something (until it happens, of course) and in that kind of situation something like a sticker chart is good. The individual stickers are sort of rewards in and of themselves, but often they're also a way of keeping track of how the child earns another reward - chocolate sauce on their ice cream on Saturday night or something like that. To me, that seems a pretty good way to handle things - you teach them that if they work and do things they don't like, they can thereby obtain things they do, and you make the 'cost' of the tangible reward large enough that it enforces a pattern of behavior. If it's tied to, say, cleaning a room, eventually the child will just be so accustomed to keeping their space tidy that they do it automatically.

Which brings me to another point - reward systems should be phased out as kids grow up. A seven year-old might need a sticker chart to get them to clean their room, but it would be silly for a fifteen year-old to have one. As the kid gets older, the reward and the system used should mature with them - and there should be a larger element of 'stick' to go with the 'carrot'. Younger kids don't understand punishment as well as older kids do, which is why I personally think anything more than scolding is a disproportionate response to most younger children's misbehavior. Older children are more capable of assessing consequences and the risk/benefit balance of a behavior; if they're threatened with having their privileges taken away, they understand the situation a lot better than a little kid does.

So for older children, something like... oh, getting a little extra dessert when they bring home good grades that they've worked hard for would be the only kind of 'reward system' I would favor. As part of the aging up, the reward should be harder to reach and slightly smaller, because as they mature hopefully they'll learn that the benefits of doing the right thing and doing it well are their own reward.

I don't think that reward systems create people who do the right thing for the wrong reasons if they're handled correctly. Rewards should be treated as a pleasant byproduct of good behavior, not the end for which behavior is the means. Kind of like when you're interacting with other people, you should be nice to them because they deserve your respect, not because you want something from them.

Hopefully this makes sense!

message 21: by Aleph (new)

Aleph (Aleph123) | 745 comments Mod
Did I say everything?

message 20: by Aleph (new)

Aleph (Aleph123) | 745 comments Mod

message 19: by Aleph (new)

Aleph (Aleph123) | 745 comments Mod
Ok, if I did something good, like did a nice drawing or tidied up not only MY mess, but somebody else's, a sticker mad me feel great! As a child, a sticker isn't any less special than £100! I mean, Yeah, doing extra chores or something isn't incredible, but it's nice for others, and I loved the stickers.

message 18: by Kirby (new)

Kirby | 132 comments I loved stickers as a kid...

message 17: by Aleph (new)

Aleph (Aleph123) | 745 comments Mod
A bloody sticker isn't a prize.

message 16: by Aleph (new)

Aleph (Aleph123) | 745 comments Mod
Note please, that i said EXCEPTIONALLY nice.
And I think academic rewards aren't the only ones you should receive.

message 15: by Aleph (new)

Aleph (Aleph123) | 745 comments Mod
Well, a reward system, as I interpet it, is when a child does something good or nice and gets a reward. It should be exceptionally nice.
In my sisters case, and partially my own though not so much, my parents didn't get us into the habit of cleaning up and so from a young age. This was a mistake on their part. But around 7- this became a problem. We weren't used to tidying up after ourselves, and having a star chart helped. they didn't pay money on us, but just out a sticker up. That's not harmful, but it's got us into the routine and habit of putting our plates away, cleaning our room, and so on.

message 14: by Aleph (new)

Aleph (Aleph123) | 745 comments Mod
I'm not talking about every day chores, though. No- those are things that should be expected of children. Tidying your room, putting your plates away.
But for example, with potty training, the way we have been weening my brothers onto the potty is by giving them a bit of chocolate every tim they go. Also making them feel more comfortable with the potty itself, but that's beside the point. This makes the potty a fun idea, that gets them rewards and encourages them to, well, GO.
And personally, I think rewards motivate most people I've met.
Including you, Nina.
I think that it's part of human nature to think, especially as a child when your views are still very primal, is there anything in it for me?
And even for people who aren't brought up with reward systems, if the answer is no- they're less likely to bother with it.
I read a great article on this along with other primal views, I'm off to find it.

message 13: by ♥ Rachel♥, Hey, whoa, I'm a mod! (new)

♥ Rachel♥ sHE beLIEveD (I_got_a_jar_of_dirt) | 767 comments Mod
I agree with the article, I've noticed myself and my sister being demotivated by rewards...and punishments too, to be honest. Explanations have always worked best for me, my sister goes on more of a "well I respect this person so if they tell me not to do something I won't" sort of thing.

message 12: by Aleph (new)

Aleph (Aleph123) | 745 comments Mod
But they wouldn't get a reward for the slightest good thing they do- would they?
I mean, have you ever gotten rewards at school?
In fact, I know for a fact that you have, and that you enjoy getting them. They're not presents, or money, but things that say you've done something good. It should be like that at home, too. Not for everyone, but in most cases it will encourage a kid to do good things, or even just make them feel good about themselves. They may still learn right and wrong, but reward systems really boost one's self confidence.
And the whole point about reward systems is getting kids to work for what they get. Teaching a Kid to work, but to remember that life is shit and they wont get anything for it, just creates another generation of pessimists. I'm not saying that by not giving a child a reward system, they'll feel this way, but looking at your reasons it would lead me to believe that's kind of the point your making.
You still haven't really given a good answer to my question.

message 11: by Aleph (new)

Aleph (Aleph123) | 745 comments Mod
doesn't really answer my question...

message 10: by Aleph (new)

Aleph (Aleph123) | 745 comments Mod
I just don't see why you would avoid it... I agree, it depends on the kid and all, but why try to avoid it?

message 9: by ♥ Rachel♥, Hey, whoa, I'm a mod! (new)

♥ Rachel♥ sHE beLIEveD (I_got_a_jar_of_dirt) | 767 comments Mod
I think that it really should vary on the child - like, a parent should try different methods and see what works best.

message 8: by Aleph (new)

Aleph (Aleph123) | 745 comments Mod
No need to get touchy...
I just wanted to bring in the other side of the debate, so it wasn't too one sided.

message 7: by Hannah (new)

Hannah (Forever_Alone_Wolf) Each kid can learn and take things in differently.

message 6: by Aleph (new)

Aleph (Aleph123) | 745 comments Mod
Kirby wrote: "well, that's how people learn- negative and positive, as long as the reward was earned, and positive isn't the only reinforcement used, I don't really see what the problem would ..."

This is how I feel.

message 5: by Kirby (new)

Kirby | 132 comments well, that's how people learn- negative and positive, as long as the reward was earned, and positive isn't the only reinforcement used, I don't really see what the problem would be...

message 4: by Aleph (new)

Aleph (Aleph123) | 745 comments Mod
That's not what I meant, exactly, but when a kid does something good, should they get some kind of reward, wether it's a sticker, a piece of chocolate or a small present?
And I agree with raven on the matter, that some kids do need the help in determining the difference between right and wrong, and others don't. It's just, when discussing this topic with my friend, she (Nina) was very anti the whole idea. Her argument was that a child should do good things for know other reason than doing a good thing. I think, personally, that kids don't get that concept at a certain age- and to show them that it's good, because there's still that selfish, survival instinct at a certain age- kids need to see that there's something in it for them. Not all kids need this motivation, of course, but for some it is important.

message 3: by Kirby (new)

Kirby | 132 comments well, I don't much agree with the trend in some places to reward each and every child no matter what- like giving everyone on the soccer team a trophy, not keeping score, stuff like that. seems like it's gonna create a generation of self-entitled buttholes....

message 2: by Hannah (new)

Hannah (Forever_Alone_Wolf) It depends on child. Every kid/ teen and even adults learn differently and take things differently.

message 1: by Aleph (new)

Aleph (Aleph123) | 745 comments Mod
Do they help a child learn the difference between right and wrong? Or do rewards systems (Such as star charts, or stickers, or chocolate if you do something good etc.) give kids the wrong reasons to become motivated into doing right?

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