Posts Tagged Problem with Rewards

Rewards Sabotage Teamwork

I’ve long-asserted that rewards are counter-intuitive. A friend told me the following story that illustrates how rewards also sabotage teamwork. My friend was chatting with a man who coaches sports teams of 8 and 9-year-olds. He mentioned that he had a lot of difficulty this year in getting the kids to work together as a team.

My friend, an experienced primary teacher, started to offer some suggestions that she had found successful for developing an atmosphere of teamwork in her classroom. But the gentleman quickly stopped her.

“Oh, you don’t understand,” he said. “It’s not the kids who are the problem; it’s the parents! The parents have all told their kids that they would get money for every goal they … >>>


Should You Bribe Students for Good Behavior?

Is bribing students for good behavior ever a good choice? Consider these questions:

  • If a police officer pulls you over for speeding, should you bribe the officer to not give you a ticket? Of course not!
  • If a co-worker misses a deadline on a project, should you bribe them to get their work done on time? No!
  • If a student in your class doesn’t do their homework, should you bribe them to complete it? Never!
  • If your child misbehaves, should you bribe them for good behavior? No way!

In all these instances, bribes are not a good idea. So why then do so many adults still try to “reward” youth in order to manipulate behavior? After all, a reward is … >>>


An Example of Why Rewards Don’t Work

When it comes to discipline, many people think rewards are effective for changing behavior. Although the intentions are admirable, giving rewards for expected appropriate behavior does as much harm as good. Rewards are simply not an effective discipline approach.

The following example of why rewards don’t work was sent to me from a reader:

“I just wanted to quickly relay a rewards-based disaster. One of our seventh graders, in fact, the daughter of a teacher, recently wanted to go to the Positive Behavior Support (PBS) reward dance. She is an A honor roll student, never a discipline problem, and a wonderful kid. In the haste of ‘bribing’ misbehaving students to be good, we neglected to ‘reward’ her for doing what … >>>


Rewards and Behavior

Is public recognition for good behavior or attitudes a good practice?

Not in my opinion! I expect good behavior, and I don’t know how to assess one’s attitude aside from one’s behavior. As I have stated in many times in the past, the problem with rewards is that the reward-giver will never know in the future whether the person is acting on Level D because it is the right thing to do OR simply to get the reward.

REWARDING young people for EXPECTED STANDARDS OF APPROPRIATE BEHAVIOR takes youth on a treacherous path—even though thousands of teachers and parents do it. This practice is highly counterproductive to their ultimate goals and is contributing to raising a generation of young people … >>>