Family relations educator Kathleen Olson offered another view on whether to set up reward calendars or other systems for your children. Olson, an extension professor for the University of Minnesota, said "it probably isn't the best idea" and encourages parents to instead discuss expectations with children and what will happen if those expectations aren't met.

"It isn't that it's so wrong, but it narrows the goals you're setting up for your child. Offering rewards doesn't give children enough credit for wanting to do good things for their own reasons, or just because it is good to do. When parents make doing something about getting a reward, they've taken away the opportunity for the child to own it, for it to be their decision, and to do things because 'it is good to do.' Satisfaction of a job well done, learning, growth, and altruism should be your child's incentives to (do) a good deed, a chore, or get a good grade in school."  


Olson's alternatives to rewards:
-- Catch your child being good. Notice when they do something well.
-- Praise your child. Use descriptive praise rather than evaluative praise. Instead of saying, "You are such a good girl", say "I noticed you worked really hard to get that B+ on your spelling."
-- Occasionally you can give a treat or an incentive for a job well done as a surprise, not because you used it as a way to get them to reach their goal.

More perspective on the issue is at the following link:

http://virgil.azwestern.edu/~dag/lol/RewardDoWell.html

 

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