Report Card Rewards: A Parents Change of Plans
Before I had children, I had a grand plan. Yes, notice I said before I had them, now I just have to do what comes natural and quit over-thinking everything. My plan included but was not limited to the idea that I would not reward my children for behaviors that were expected of them. They don’t get an allowance for cleaning their room or remember to take their clothes to the laundry hamper. Possibly that’s why they don’t engage in those activities on a regular basis, but I don’t see anyone rewarding me as an adult for those and I certainly did get rewarded for that as a child. Either way, I simply had no plans to engage in a battle of you do good things, I reward you, you do bad things I punish you.
I’m more of the philosophy that kids should be taught to do good things because that’s how human beings act and they will face the consequences of bad behavior because again, that’s just how this ol’ life rolls. Then, I actually had children which required me to not only rethink some of my previous ideas on parenting in general but specifically on this one called report card rewards. I made good grades. I graduated in the top of my class. I was never paid to do so. I currently don’t have a real job either and so apparently I never made the connection that if I excelled, I could get better jobs, make more money, get raises and promotions. At least, that’s how I’m building this speech that I plan on giving myself as I fork over a $20 bill tonight for my third grader who made straight A’s and $10 for my first grader who had a B.
If you are a smart cookie, you are wondering how this is working for me and right now, I still haven’t decided if it is the right way to approach this. After all, they are expected to do their best and make the best grades possible. They are expected to say yes ma’am and no ma’am and please and thank you too. And, I won‘t be rewarding them for the latter. So, why did I choose to reward them for the good grades?
I still don’t know really, it just seems like a good will kind of thing really. And, who knows, they may decide that in order to make more money, get better jobs and have better lives than their mother has they have to work hard and achieve greatness. However, in the back of my mind, there is this gnawing irritation that keeps telling me that money is not the all important factor in life. Or is it?
This parenting gig is nowhere near as easy as it looked from the other side. Seriously, no one told me when I was sitting back judging others that I was going to be forced to eat crow so often. But, that’s ok; these little guys are going to grow up to be superheroes. I know that because I just looked at them through my parenting-love glasses and they are already showing signs of greatness.