Saturday, April 6, 2013

Mommy Challenge : What's a good reward system for our kids?

It's report card season! I claimed Sabine's report card yesterday and Anissa's today. Each child is different in terms of strengths (i.e., favorite subjects) and study habits. Needless to say, my strategy for each child is different too, given the age difference.

Do you have a reward system for your children? I have a friend whose system has been in place since her kids were in grade school. It's a year-long (school year, in this case) thing for them starting from the 1st quarter all the way to when the school year finally comes to a close. I never really had the time to do something as detailed as this. 

Mine is really simple. You get good grades, I give you a reward. You show me bad grades --- moreso if I know they're bad because you didn't try hard enough and/or was distracted by other, less important things --- you don't get a reward PLUS I take something away. Nothing material, more like a privilege that I know you'll have a difficult time being without. How long does the "punishment" last? It really depends. At the very least, until I see some improvement in grades or in attitude. 

How many of you do or will do the same with your children when the time comes?

My friend's system works this way : every grade in the report card corresponds to a certain amount of money. In their case, the kids' school use the letter system, that's why it was easier for her to peg an amount. If I remember correctly, her table looked like this:

A - 100
Am - 80
B - 60
Bm - 50
C - 40
Cm and below - kid gets nada plus an earful, I think hahaha!

She says she does this so that the kid realizes that, "Hey, I didn't get any money for my Math grade this quarter! I need to push push push!". Do you agree to this system? I see a few disadvantages, which I'd rather not elaborate on, given that we do what we think is best for our kids and shouldn't criticize the next parent for implementing something else. If this works for her, that's perfectly alright.

In my case, I don't feel the need to use money too much as incentive. Maybe it can be used in some cases, like maybe for college-aged kids? Then again, do you really need a super OC incentive program for your college student? I don't think so hee hee. 

For me, it's the bottomline that counts. And what's the bottomline? 

The grade itself is not the only thing I look at, it's largely HOW you got it. If you got a D because you really are not good at this particular subject and it isn't one of your strengths, I won't punish you for it. I'll HELP you get to where you need to be. But if your D is there because ... (a) you spend more time on the phone than with your books, (b) you didn't try hard enough and just threw in the "bahala na si Batman" attitude or (c) BOTH, then you definitely get some sort of punishment from me until you shape up.

I think it's also important to consider your child's age. I believe the rules shouldn't be as stringent with younger kids. I'm really careful about not putting too much pressure on my 7-year old.

If you don't have a reward system yet, think about what kind would work for you.

Good luck, Mommies!

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