The Parent-Teacher-Child Connection: Rewards work!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Rewards work!

Yesterday, I talked to someone who was having trouble with his fourth grade daughter and her math grades.  He had enrolled her in an after-school enrichment program. And he had taken away her cell phone because he found she was texting more than she was working on her math skills.  The teachers at this enrichment school sent her home with even more homework than her regular school.  The kid was overloaded!  So she began to skim the papers from the pile that came home.  When her father found out that she had been doing this, he asked her why.  I have to hand it to the kid for her honesty - she said because she didn't have time to watch her shows on TV.  OUCH!  I know what was coming next - yep, Dad took away the TV.  Now the poor kid has no TV, no cell phone, no computer (that got taken away before the cell phone) and an overload of work.  Where's the fun in this equation?  Where's the motivation to succeed?

When I asked Dad what kind of rewards he had set up for her to learn the times table by memory, he looked at me incredulously.  What? No rewards?  He confessed that he never thought to go that route.  I told him that the reward could be as simple as a trip to Rita's when she learned the 6X table, or something that they both work on together when she masters up to 12X. 

Since that happened just yesterday, Dad hasn't gotten back to me with an update on her progress yet and I won't see him until next week.  Stay tuned, folks, for an update.  I'm sure Dad will see some progress and will have a much happier daughter in the process.

Remember - rewards whisper success to a child while restrictions scream failure.  When my girls were growing up, I never placed them on restriction, never took away something that they had earned, and I always rewarded positive behavior.  I am proud to say that they have all grown up to be strong, responsible individual who have made very good choices in their lives!

Happy parenting!

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