Rewards And Consequences
Of The Same Coin
This post is part 2 in the discussion of rewards, the fourth of 4R’s in the series on Good Parenting and focuses on the natural law of cause and effect. What our kids do is a cause. Good parents will help them appreciate the effect.
You can find part 1 here.
Rewards Counterbalance Consequence
You can’t really develop a concept of rewards and ignore consequences and vice versa. One effects the other. They are two sides of the same coin. If we do away with one, rewards or consequences, it is only logical to eliminate the other.
The two ideas need balance. Eliminating or under emphasizing one creates an imbalance and it can work both ways, with rewards or consequence. over emphasizing consequence can be just as damaging as over emphasizing rewards. Maybe more so. Read more
The Only Motivation
The concept of rewards is one idea every parent needs to understand clearly.
Rewards are the positive things we receive – material gifts, praise, recognition – for the constructive things we do and this “doing and receiving” idea can be expressed in many different ways.
Let me share a few with you:
- “No deserving deed should be done for nothing.”
- Or “Every decent action should receive an appropriate reward.”
- Which is another way of saying “No one should do anything expecting nothing in return.”
- And to say it more colloquially, with a bit more flare and in a way we can all relate to, “There ain’t no free lunch.”
We’ve all heard those or similar statements but do most people really believe that? Do they believe the idea applies to all situations equally?
I would say yes, mostly. Not always.
The majority believe this in most situations but when it comes to parenting they change the rules. Instead of teaching kids that every action involves a series of appropriate consequences and rewards they teach them to do things only because it is the right thing to do, implying they should expect nothing in return.
It’s not an uncommon idea and it has an emotionally righteous ring to it but what does it really mean?
Can that possibly be true or are some parents fiddling with the laws of nature? Read more
Controlling All Outcomes
Robs Children of Opportunities
As I said before, good parents begin with the end in view and ask pertinent questions about where the parenting process is going. What do you want your kids to be like? What qualities do they need to have? One obvious answer to those questions is “responsible.” We want our kids to be responsible people.
Well, “responsible” is a rather broad description. It doesn’t give us too much detail so I’ve included the following ideas to break it down a bit. Read more
Failure Is The Teaching Moment
Consequence The Teaching Tool
You can’t teach responsibility in a classroom.
You can teach the theory. You can define the words but you can’t convey the real meaning of responsibility outside of experience, which involves two things we don’t like very much. The first one is consequence. It is the primary teaching tool.
The second one is failure. You don’t have a consequence unless you have a failure, which means failure is a part of the formula too. That might sound discouraging but when you do the math, the emotional math, it works.
Failure plus consequence equals “Aha!” I get it! But the formula doesn’t always compute because parents add another element to the equation, protectionism. It changes the outcome completely. Read more
Routine Focuses On The Goal
Scheduling Focuses On The Clock
Of all the words you could choose to describe good parenting “Routine” is one of the least attractive. Everyone knows that routine is constructive but the word is often associated more with “boring” or “monotonous” rather than “useful.”
The problem may be caused by the fact that routine is identified with time management and schedules, which can be a bit overbearing at times. Some people are so tightly scheduled there is no room for spontaneity at all. Fortunately, routine living and scheduling are not the same as the following comparison shows: Read more