Tag Archives: rewards

School Incentives – Rewards

Posted on by 0 comment aside

State testing in our school district is currently happening.  The girls came home last week with a sheet of paper with the words “Incentive Program” at the top.  As I began reading through this sheet of paper, I suddenly started to feel frustrated and kinda angry.  Why do kids need incentives for doing something that is standard in their school curriculum?

There are 10 bullet points on this sheet of paper and EVERY single one of them is a reward for how the students score on their state testing performance!!!  Seriously, is this for real?   Am I just over reacting on this or looking at it from a different perspective?  I don’t agree with the pressure put on students for state testing, let alone the testing and I don’t feel it is an accurate display of a child’s abilities. Just seems so backwards to helping kids learn life skills for when they are out in the world.

Of course I want my children to perform well and succeed in what they work for.  I also want them to fail.  They must learn how to solve, navigate and overcome many obstacles in life. If they are rewarded for every step along the way,  I am failing as a parent.  But that is neither here nor there and a completely different post.

There are a couple incentives listed that are not food related, thumbs up for that!   For example, “Every student who scores Met Standards or Exceeded Standards in English and Math will be able to keep their elective”.   I think it means, if you do not take the test there will not be a score, therefore you will not get to keep your elective. It is unclear of the meaning behind it.

 

 

Encouraging and supporting these students is great, I am all for that. With the way society and world is lately, we all need that extra positive nudge in our lives.  I also understand some need a little more than others.  Incentives to receive rewards can work but are not always the best choice, especially when it comes to food/candy (read past post).  Kids DO NOT need to receive a reward for EVERYTHING they do and accomplish.  Correct me if I am wrong, this is not how it works in life later on. 

 

 

 

 

Alternatives To Rewarding With Candy

As I sat a few weeks ago waiting for my kids to get their hair cuts, I was enthralled with a scene going on with another child getting ready to get their hair cut.  The parent was trying to work with the child to get up in the chair, the child wasn’t budging. I could see that the parent was not only trying to maintain her composure but also working quickly to come up with an incentive. I heard the parent say “if you can help the nice lady out and get up in that chair, I will give you 20 extra minutes of electronics”. In my mind, I thought, wow! totally impressed with the non use of treats/food/toys and calmness! The child proceeds to get on to the chair. Then the hairdresser leans over to the child and says, “I will give you a lollipop if you can sit still in the chair”. I think I had the same look on my face as the parent did. Now, as a parent, I sat there and thought to myself, there was no need for her to offer a lollipop, the parent solved the situation, so why did she feel she had to interfere. Reflecting on this made me realize that we are all guilty of it, rewarding children with treats/food/toys is prevalent and it is done by parents, teachers, parent groups, administrators, coaches, grandparents and even hair dressers, doctors, banks and the like, and no one really seems to question it. Schools do it! It is a challenge in which I work to improve at the children’s school, yet disappointingly find it not changing. Why is it encouraged to reward children for everything they do or with candy/treats/food that threaten children’s health and diets and reinforces poor eating habits and choices. When did receiving social rewards not be good enough?

Continue reading