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#61 of 91 Old 12-18-2007, 05:58 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Momma Aimee View Post
I know MANY parents who work who would be insulted to have it implied they are less involved in school (or whatever) because they work -- they do all the same stuff i do.... just some times differntly.

AImee
Did you not read the message posted by Logan's mommy? I certainly don't see her as any less involved -- but her post should help you see, firsthand, how parents with lots of outside demands on their time and energy, can find it hard to keep up with every little demand of their children's teachers.

Of course, it's not necessarily a WOHP/SAHP issue. I'm sure there are many WOHP's who manage to keep things organized and streamlined. And many SAHP's who don't. And it's not necessarily a reflection on the parent if things aren't streamlined.

Okay, now I'm going to be repetitive, but I'll repeat: it's unfair to punish children for things they have no control over. I don't believe in rewards and punishments anyway, but I realize taking rewards and punishments out of the schools would basically be amputating the legs the schools have to stand on.

So I'll just say, if you've got to reward/punish, at least do it for things the children themselves can do something about.

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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#62 of 91 Old 12-18-2007, 09:15 PM
 
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Well, I see nothing wrong with the occasional treat, but I am against food being used as a reward, especially on a weekly basis.

I also knew countless kids in school who were on the "losing/punishment" end of too many of these reward/incentive plans, for many different reasons. By the time we were in high school, they didn't care about rewards (if you aren't getting them, why care?) but they didn't care about doing the things that should have come naturally by that point, either (because the task had become disassociated from it's natural purpose). These were capable people, some way more intelligent than me, who were failing for many reasons, but not the least of which was a lack of intrinsic motivation and an assumption that failure was unavoidable.

Good habits do start early. Healthy eating habits, healthy dental habits, learning to keep things neat and tidy, healthy self awareness, and so on. But these habits take time to develop, and can't/shouldn't be rushed by artificial rewards (especially rewards that undermine other healthy habits). Rewards often shortchange the long term goals.

I would speak with the teacher about your concerns. She may not be aware that anyone sees anything wrong with her system (and many people don't, of course). I think that at the very least, it would reasonable for her to change the reward, and to make it less public -- meaning less obvious as to who is turning in a folder and who isn't (depending on how she's handling it now). Sometimes, we innocently think that a reward system only challenges a child to do better and compete against himself, when really we're putting kids in a competitive situation with each other (which is proving to be counter-productive in learning situations).

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#63 of 91 Old 12-18-2007, 10:11 PM
 
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Originally Posted by cmlp View Post
I don't believe in homework for kindergarten.

I don't think that any child should be punished and made to feel guilty because he forgot to bring something to school.

And in any event, I don't think that children should view schoolwork as a kind of chore for which we need to give them candy to get them to hand in. And certainly not in kindergarten.
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#64 of 91 Old 12-18-2007, 11:51 PM
 
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ARRRGGGHH, my son's kindy teacher does the same thing! I understand the use of rewards for good behavior, but does it really have to be a piece of candy! It drives me insane! My dh just tells me to get over it

Tanya, wife to my best friend momma to Blake 2/02, Jacob 5/04, Parker 12/05 and MaKenna : 6/09
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#65 of 91 Old 12-19-2007, 12:05 AM
 
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Oh, I could go on for days on this one. How can she see giving a child processed, sugary, food color laden junk as 'creating good habits'?!? Is she teaching children or training dogs?

In the past when this has come up (my issue was with a huge multi-colored gift certificate that came home commending my daughter on losing a tooth! Something she has ABSOLUTELY no control over, happens naturally, and is rewarded in our home by a visit from the tooth fairy and a personal note thanking my daughter for her 'donation), I've reinforced my personal beliefs with my daughter's teachers by finding support from other parents in the class (You just may be amazed at how many aren't happy with it, but are 'afraid to go against the system'.) and in a non-confrontational way (she's doing the best she can) letting the teacher know there are many other ways to reward a child. We rely too heavily on exterior reinforcement for children's behavior and then wonder why they always 'expect something'.

What about just being proud of completing an assignment and doing what is expected in class? She should be reinforcing the 'habits' of internal gratification of a job well done and pride in one's own abilities.

And now I step down from my soapbox.
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#66 of 91 Old 12-19-2007, 11:35 AM
 
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In the past when this has come up (my issue was with a huge multi-colored gift certificate that came home commending my daughter on losing a tooth! Something she has ABSOLUTELY no control over, happens naturally, and is rewarded in our home by a visit from the tooth fairy and a personal note thanking my daughter for her 'donation),
Okay, I have to admit I just don't get this. Natural or not, no control or not, children get very excited about losing teeth and love to have others share in that excitement. What could possibly be wrong with that? Not to mention that they sometimes feel as though they've worked very hard - waiting, twisting, wiggling, etc. - to get the darned thing out. It's incredibly sweet that your child's teacher even thought to mark the event for her.

Seriously, we really can take this whole "no rewards" thing too far. Occasional rewards are not going to ruin our children or turn them into junkies.
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#67 of 91 Old 12-19-2007, 12:08 PM
 
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Seriously, we really can take this whole "no rewards" thing too far. Occasional rewards are not going to ruin our children or turn them into junkies.
Some rewards given in school or clubs run so counter to my value system, that I would strongly discourage my son from accepting the reward, or participating in the activity that generates the reward. A good example is the selling of magazines or knick knacks to raise $. I would not encourage and certainly would not help him sell stuff (where the profit split is something like 60/30/10 OEM/School/Child. I would, however, explain the paradigm and let my son decide. Even once a year, this kind of reward system reeks to me. (I usually give a small check donation to the school or club which wanted my purchase)

So imagine how eyerolling Id be if the teacher in this case further enhanced the rewards for a magazine selling scheme (scam) with candy as well. I would guess that Starburst makes other motivational appearances in her classroom as well.
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#68 of 91 Old 12-19-2007, 01:59 PM
 
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Originally Posted by meaghann View Post
Some rewards given in school or clubs run so counter to my value system, that I would strongly discourage my son from accepting the reward, or participating in the activity that generates the reward. A good example is the selling of magazines or knick knacks to raise $. I would not encourage and certainly would not help him sell stuff (where the profit split is something like 60/30/10 OEM/School/Child. I would, however, explain the paradigm and let my son decide. Even once a year, this kind of reward system reeks to me. (I usually give a small check donation to the school or club which wanted my purchase)

So imagine how eyerolling Id be if the teacher in this case further enhanced the rewards for a magazine selling scheme (scam) with candy as well. I would guess that Starburst makes other motivational appearances in her classroom as well.

I agree about the "fundraisers," but think that's an entirely different issue. The rewards are only a small part of the problem there. In this scenario, the reward seems to be the whole issue (because, really, I don't think anyone takes issue with a child returning a folder to the class) and, really, it's a small piece of candy one time per week. Yes, if the teacher is tossing candy at them right and left for all sorts of things or generally unable to get anything done without rewards, then there's a bigger issue at play.

It offends my ideas about the proper way to raise children, as well, but I don't understand how this particular thing is such a big deal. To be honest, this is a very minor annoyance in the grander scheme of things. And, like I said, kids are smart enough to recognize that different settings operate in different ways. I can't imagine that because of this little thing, Starburst is going to bring about a Pavlovian response. Or that it's going to turn any child into a rewards junkie, especially when s/he is getting different messages at home.
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#69 of 91 Old 12-19-2007, 08:02 PM
 
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Seriously, we really can take this whole "no rewards" thing too far. Occasional rewards are not going to ruin our children or turn them into junkies.

Dragonfly...I don't believe in 'no rewards'. I reward my daughter for true accomplishments in her life. What I'm expressing frustration about is the 'over' rewarding of our children. We celebrate the loss of my daughter's teeth and feel that should suffice. I don't think it should be something she is "rewarded" for from every angle. Personally, I feel this sets the child up to expect that every natural occurance in life is a reason for cake, ice cream, gifts, and gift certificates. Sadly, after the 5 or 6 lost tooth gift certificates she received one for an outstanding art project at school was completely 'underwhelmed'. It was sad to see her unable to truly rejoice in something that was WORTHY of being praised.
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#70 of 91 Old 12-20-2007, 12:24 AM
 
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Oooh, that would P*#&$ me RIGHT off!!!

Maybe I'm too uptight, but I really feel that as my son's parent, my permission is needed before anybody gives him junk food.

PLUS, I'm teaching my son that a "treat" is just something you don't have very often...that could be a couple of strawberries, or some yogurt with cinnamon and fresh fruit, or of course, a non-food item such as a special sticker.

And THEN, I also think that the reward for doing homework is that you learn something. But then, that's the homeschooler in me, who doesn't really like the idea of homework (especially for kindergarten kids) in the first place!

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#71 of 91 Old 12-20-2007, 12:40 AM
 
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Haven't read anything but the original post.

Personally, with all the massive amount of things wrong with school systems, I cannot imagine getting upset, or complaining, about something like this. I honestly can't even see the issue. They do what they are suppose to, and they get rewarded. What's the problem? It's a single piece of candy once a week. I'm the type of person that saves my compaints for serious issues though, and this one just wouldn't phase me a bit. I don't see anything wrong with rewards for good behavior, and I don't see anything wrong with candy. There are far better things in life to get fussed about imo.
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#72 of 91 Old 12-20-2007, 04:47 PM
 
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Haven't read anything but the original post.

Personally, with all the massive amount of things wrong with school systems, I cannot imagine getting upset, or complaining, about something like this. I honestly can't even see the issue. They do what they are suppose to, and they get rewarded. What's the problem? It's a single piece of candy once a week. I'm the type of person that saves my compaints for serious issues though, and this one just wouldn't phase me a bit. I don't see anything wrong with rewards for good behavior, and I don't see anything wrong with candy. There are far better things in life to get fussed about imo.
The problem is that it isn't just one starburst per week for one year of the child's life. Nearly everyone in a child's life feels the need to step in and "reward" them for things that occur naturally in their lives (dentists, doctors, teachers, babysitters, grandparents, aunts and uncles, and so on). What's wrong with a simple "congratulations" or "thank you, I appreciate your work"? Trust me, "reward junkies" are not truly content individuals when they grow up, and the world can definitely use some more people who aren't motivated by personal gain.

There ARE many things wrong with school systems, certainly, and one of the serious ones, imo, is the over-rewarding, over-training, and over-manipulating of small children. They aren't dogs, and even serious dog trainers know that you don't reward the animal every time it does a specific task -- the motivation wears off. So, practically speaking, it doesn't work, and ethically, it's more than sketchy. Anything can look perfectly innocent when taken out of its larger context.

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#73 of 91 Old 12-20-2007, 04:54 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Parker'smommy View Post
In California it's against the law. Yep, you read it right....against state legislation. Arnold signed a bill called the Healthy School Now Act that includes two bills in legislation. Teachers, and admin. are NOT allowed to give or sell candy and soda before, during, and an hour after school. Snacks sold at school must meet a certain criteria. No more soda machines. So teachers are not allowed to give candy, even one small starburst as a reward, ever. Where do you live?
Yea!!!!!!

I live in CA. Thankfully I wont have to worry about this. Especially since DD is allergic to Corn products and HFCS is in EVERYTHING!
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#74 of 91 Old 12-20-2007, 09:32 PM
 
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Lifescholar & Theatermom beautifully stated.

I don't think anyone can disagree that we have 'bigger issues' with our school systems, but THAT would require numerous other postings and require me to quit my job just to list them all!

IMO, we need to look at 'celebrating' life's joys with our children vs. 'rewarding' every minor event.
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#75 of 91 Old 12-21-2007, 01:12 AM - Thread Starter
 
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In California it's against the law. Yep, you read it right....against state legislation. Arnold signed a bill called the Healthy School Now Act that includes two bills in legislation. Teachers, and admin. are NOT allowed to give or sell candy and soda before, during, and an hour after school. Snacks sold at school must meet a certain criteria. No more soda machines. So teachers are not allowed to give candy, even one small starburst as a reward, ever. Where do you live?
Unfortunately, I’m in Wisconsin. That is SO awesome that you have that law. And don’t even get me started on the poor quality of the lunch program. So many problems…so little time.

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Well, I see nothing wrong with the occasional treat, but I am against food being used as a reward, especially on a weekly basis.

I also knew countless kids in school who were on the "losing/punishment" end of too many of these reward/incentive plans, for many different reasons. By the time we were in high school, they didn't care about rewards (if you aren't getting them, why care?) but they didn't care about doing the things that should have come naturally by that point, either (because the task had become disassociated from it's natural purpose). These were capable people, some way more intelligent than me, who were failing for many reasons, but not the least of which was a lack of intrinsic motivation and an assumption that failure was unavoidable.

Good habits do start early. Healthy eating habits, healthy dental habits, learning to keep things neat and tidy, healthy self awareness, and so on. But these habits take time to develop, and can't/shouldn't be rushed by artificial rewards (especially rewards that undermine other healthy habits). Rewards often shortchange the long term goals.

I would speak with the teacher about your concerns. She may not be aware that anyone sees anything wrong with her system (and many people don't, of course). I think that at the very least, it would reasonable for her to change the reward, and to make it less public -- meaning less obvious as to who is turning in a folder and who isn't (depending on how she's handling it now). Sometimes, we innocently think that a reward system only challenges a child to do better and compete against himself, when really we're putting kids in a competitive situation with each other (which is proving to be counter-productive in learning situations).
I totally agree!

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Oh, I could go on for days on this one. How can she see giving a child processed, sugary, food color laden junk as 'creating good habits'?!? Is she teaching children or training dogs?

In the past when this has come up (my issue was with a huge multi-colored gift certificate that came home commending my daughter on losing a tooth! Something she has ABSOLUTELY no control over, happens naturally, and is rewarded in our home by a visit from the tooth fairy and a personal note thanking my daughter for her 'donation), I've reinforced my personal beliefs with my daughter's teachers by finding support from other parents in the class (You just may be amazed at how many aren't happy with it, but are 'afraid to go against the system'.) and in a non-confrontational way (she's doing the best she can) letting the teacher know there are many other ways to reward a child. We rely too heavily on exterior reinforcement for children's behavior and then wonder why they always 'expect something'.

What about just being proud of completing an assignment and doing what is expected in class? She should be reinforcing the 'habits' of internal gratification of a job well done and pride in one's own abilities.

And now I step down from my soapbox.
I do wonder how other parents in the class feel about this. This is my first dc in school, so I’m still getting to know the other parents. She is very kind and sweet with them, so I’m sure she thinks she’s doing something good – it just hasn’t occurred to her that there may be a down side.

What a great discussion this is! Thanks everybody!
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#76 of 91 Old 12-21-2007, 12:08 PM
 
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Wow! California's got it together! I'm in Michigan where they just recently had to have legislation against dove hunting...HUGE debate here...people calling radio & TV stations to defend their right to shoot doves for sport (no one even mentioned eating them, which in my philosophy if you're going to hunt it you should eat it and use all pieces to honor the animal, but that's a whole different posting...) Doubt MI is quite progressive enough yet to implement legislation like that. But, I'm learning there are more like me here than I originally thought...maybe we can unite!

I agree...this has been a great thread!
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#77 of 91 Old 12-21-2007, 01:17 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Parker'smommy View Post
In California it's against the law. Yep, you read it right....against state legislation. Arnold signed a bill called the Healthy School Now Act that includes two bills in legislation. Teachers, and admin. are NOT allowed to give or sell candy and soda before, during, and an hour after school. Snacks sold at school must meet a certain criteria. No more soda machines. So teachers are not allowed to give candy, even one small starburst as a reward, ever. Where do you live?
I am not in California, but our school has the same policy. Even the school lunches follow a certain guideline (something to do with fat to calorie percentages). They also use only whole wheat bread/pizza crust etc and they don't deep fry anything.
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#78 of 91 Old 12-21-2007, 02:07 PM
 
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I live in Indiana and ds's school corp has this same policy on food guide lines, they've taken out the soda machines and everything and if you want to send a snack or treat for say a birthday party it has to be a healthy snack, no more cupcakes or candy. I don't know if the whole state is doing this or not.

Elizabeth wife to Matt , mom to Logan (2/21/01) , and little man Desmond (9/23/08)

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#79 of 91 Old 12-21-2007, 02:10 PM
 
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Okay, now I'm going to be repetitive, but I'll repeat: it's unfair to punish children for things they have no control over.
I agree completely. DS1 used to get a lot of flack from his 1st grade teacher, because he was late a lot. He needed someone (me) to walk him to school, and our homelife was falling apart, and things were crazy. I was doing absolutely everything - my ex and I split up in April of that school year - including getting myself ready for work, getting my ex out of bed, and trying to get ds1 ready for school. I have trouble with punctuality, anyway - but that year was the absolute worst. DS1 was the one catching the brunt of it, even though I tried to explain to his teacher that I was the one running late all the time. That's just not reasonable. It's not like he was old enough to make other arrangements!

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So I'll just say, if you've got to reward/punish, at least do it for things the children themselves can do something about.
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#80 of 91 Old 12-21-2007, 02:19 PM
 
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I have trouble with punctuality, anyway - but that year was the absolute worst. DS1 was the one catching the brunt of it, even though I tried to explain to his teacher that I was the one running late all the time. That's just not reasonable. It's not like he was old enough to make other arrangements!


On the one hand, it seems like public school employees WANT parents to count on the schools for help and support -- but then there's this pulling the rug out from under the kids of the most stressed and needy parents.

When people say things like, "It doesn't matter if you're a SAHM or a WOHM (read, your personal circumstances don't matter) -- you still have the SAME responsibility to help your kids keep up with all this stuff" -- it communicates a total disregard of the fact that some parents are very, very stressed, pushed to the limit, simply not able to perform at a higher level at this time.

I don't even think it's fair to punish these parents for their painful situations, let alone punish the kids.

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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#81 of 91 Old 12-21-2007, 02:34 PM
 
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I was reading an article about how new college grads are being given all kinds of rewards at work for showing up on time.
umm....wow. The only reward I ever expected (or received) for showing up at work on time was continued employment...

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#82 of 91 Old 12-21-2007, 02:42 PM
 
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On the one hand, it seems like public school employees WANT parents to count on the schools for help and support -- but then there's this pulling the rug out from under the kids of the most stressed and needy parents.

When people say things like, "It doesn't matter if you're a SAHM or a WOHM (read, your personal circumstances don't matter) -- you still have the SAME responsibility to help your kids keep up with all this stuff" -- it communicates a total disregard of the fact that some parents are very, very stressed, pushed to the limit, simply not able to perform at a higher level at this time.

I don't even think it's fair to punish these parents for their painful situations, let alone punish the kids.
It was pretty crazy. He was bringing papers home at least four days a week - notices of fundraisers, notices of special events (Christmas concerts, "meet the teacher barbecue, etc.), Pizza day forms, field trip permission slips, etc. I felt absolutely buried. My MIL, who was doing our childcare when my ex worked, was always tidying up, and I work better with the "okay - that form was in this pile" approach. I had trouble finding anything. One of the reasons he's be late is that I'd suddenly realize it was Friday, and such-and-such permission slip had to be in today - and I had to find it. I can remember carrying ds1 on my shoulder, while I tried to walk as fast as I could to the school, to get him there in time, and hopefully make my bus to work (I didn't have a set start time, but I did have a daily deadline, and the earlier I got there, the easier it was to meet).

Honestly - I look back on that year and have no idea how I even survived it (I was really ill, too - two courses of heavy duty antibiotics in less than two months...and I only saw the doctor when I got to the "dizzy, high fever, delirious and in pain" point.

I look back and I'm still boggled that ds1 was catching flack for being late...

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#83 of 91 Old 12-21-2007, 06:04 PM
 
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Amen! Yeah that! Right on! Your all right...more and more the world seems backasswards to me. : Commune living on a deserted island looks so enticing...I mean it! I'm getting so tired of swimming against the mainstream. :
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#84 of 91 Old 12-21-2007, 07:03 PM
 
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The problem is that it isn't just one starburst per week for one year of the child's life. Nearly everyone in a child's life feels the need to step in and "reward" them for things that occur naturally in their lives (dentists, doctors, teachers, babysitters, grandparents, aunts and uncles, and so on). What's wrong with a simple "congratulations" or "thank you, I appreciate your work"? Trust me, "reward junkies" are not truly content individuals when they grow up, and the world can definitely use some more people who aren't motivated by personal gain.

There ARE many things wrong with school systems, certainly, and one of the serious ones, imo, is the over-rewarding, over-training, and over-manipulating of small children. They aren't dogs, and even serious dog trainers know that you don't reward the animal every time it does a specific task -- the motivation wears off. So, practically speaking, it doesn't work, and ethically, it's more than sketchy. Anything can look perfectly innocent when taken out of its larger context.
I do understand what you're saying. I try to refrain from over-rewarding my son myself. But I still don't see anything wrong with what the teacher does. I think the bigger problem would be for the OP's child to be the ONLY one left out of the reward because she doesn't want him over-rewarded. Then he sees that everyone is doing their work, but he's the only one that doesn't get a reward.

I was rewarded PLENTY as a child. But I'm not screwed up from it. As you grow you learn that you do things because you have to, not to get a sucker, etc. It's part of growing up, imo.
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#85 of 91 Old 12-22-2007, 11:19 AM
 
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I'm actually thinking -- even if a particular child has such an on-the-ball mom that he never forgets anything he needs for school -- it's probably just as harmful for him to see other children being punished (by being excluded from the reward), as it would be for him to be punished.

This is similar to the rationale that it's just as harmful to have to see bullying, as it is to personally be a victim of bullying.

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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#86 of 91 Old 12-22-2007, 10:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm actually thinking -- even if a particular child has such an on-the-ball mom that he never forgets anything he needs for school -- it's probably just as harmful for him to see other children being punished (by being excluded from the reward), as it would be for him to be punished.

This is similar to the rationale that it's just as harmful to have to see bullying, as it is to personally be a victim of bullying.
Very good point!
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#87 of 91 Old 12-22-2007, 10:48 PM
 
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I have to agree...great point, Mammal_mama.
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#88 of 91 Old 12-23-2007, 10:48 PM
 
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I do understand what you're saying. I try to refrain from over-rewarding my son myself. But I still don't see anything wrong with what the teacher does. I think the bigger problem would be for the OP's child to be the ONLY one left out of the reward because she doesn't want him over-rewarded. Then he sees that everyone is doing their work, but he's the only one that doesn't get a reward.

I was rewarded PLENTY as a child. But I'm not screwed up from it. As you grow you learn that you do things because you have to, not to get a sucker, etc. It's part of growing up, imo.
I see what you're saying, but the only reason that a child eventually needs to learn that you do things without getting a sucker is because the members of his/her community have taught him/her to expect the sucker in the first place. And, I had lots of junk food and soda while growing up, learned as I got older that it wasn't good for me, and I'm not screwed up from the experience. However, not everyone with the same experience would come out of it unscathed -- certainly I've met plenty of people with serious weight and health problems that stem largely from the habits that they were taught and/or allowed to develop as children.

I do agree w/you that the greater harm comes to the children who aren't rewarded, especially when they see that the children who ARE rewarded aren't doing anything particularly spectacular to get the reward. For instance, I think that we all have a very different feeling towards a person who works hard or who is particularly talented and receives some kind of reward/notice for their work, and those who get something for just showing up.

I also agree w/mammal mom's idea that the rewarded children are also harmed by watching the indirect punishment of the other children. They learn to accept the idea that some people win and some people lose, and that often the reasons are arbitrary. While this may be true practically speaking in the world that we live in, we shouldn't prepare our children to accept this as just.

Often, I think that the whole idea of rewards/punishments represents our distrust of children, and of other people in general. Like a pp, I would rather that we "celebrate" with our children rather than reward them.


Amanda and Dh, ds 09/00, ds 08/03, ds 10/05, and ds 05/08, and 3 :
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#89 of 91 Old 12-23-2007, 11:47 PM
 
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Not thrilled but not outraged. I'd probably ask the teacher to just use praise and thanks rather than a food reward.
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#90 of 91 Old 12-24-2007, 08:48 AM
 
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*hasn't read all comments*

I personally would have something to say about it, not because I don't want my son to have treats but because if it weren't for the eggs I can't get him to give up he would be a vegan. I don't want him having those candies because they contain gelatin, not to mention I'm pretty sure they have artificial dyes which we try to avoid.

As for the candy itself, and veganism aside, I think treats are okay as just that...treats. I don't like the idea of it being every single week. I would honestly be worried about my child starting to feel as if everytime they did something I asked them to that they would get some kind of treat for a reward. It may not happen, but I just wouldn't want to have to even be faced with the situation.
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