Posts Tagged Problems With Rewards

How to Combat Stress and Anxiety

Here is a stress management tip—but first, “Why are so many people today dealing with stress and anxiety more than ever before?” The answer may surprise you, and this stress management tip on how to relieve stress and anxiety might just help.

Stress and anxiety can affect people of all ages—whether a person is a student under stress or a person in retirement. The key to dealing with anxiety and stress is through effort and stress management, which leads to anxiety relief and managing stress levels.

Consider these two examples: There was a dentist in Duluth, Minnesota who had more patients at age 89 than he ever had in his previous years of practice. His hands were steady, and … >>>


Reduce Classroom Stress by Empowering Students

When implementing the Discipline Without Stress system, some teachers initially struggle. They are so used to using a rewards- or consequences-based system that trying something new feels awkward. Even though they know deep down that rewards and punishments don’t work, they have little experience with other options, and as such, they revert to their past ineffective ways.

Making matters more difficult is the fact that many teachers are mandated to implement Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS). The question then is, “How can you use DISCIPLINE WITHOUT STRESS while at the same time implementing PBIS?”

Here is my advice.

First, there is nothing in PBIS that mandates the teacher must give the rewards. Have the students perform the task. When … >>>


Obedience Does Not Create Desire

When enforcing rules, imposing punishments, or doling out rewards, be aware that these approaches aim at obedience, rather than promoting responsibility—and that obedience does not create desire.

The most effective approach to have young people do what adults want them to do is to tap into their emotions. Following rules requires thinking—not feelings. Yet feelings and emotions drives the majority of our decisions.

I use the word “Responsibilities” rather than “Rules” because I am able to have young people WANT to become responsible. I do this by tapping into the good feelings a person gets from being responsible. Once young people are exposed to the Levels of Development, they want to raise themselves to the highest level—simply by the … >>>


Rewards Cause Problems

rewards cause problemsNo matter what you call it or how you disguise it, rewards cause problems. Those who have followed my blog for any length of time or who have read any of my books know that I am a proponent of the fact that rewards don’t work.

Here is yet another real-life example that proves my point that rewards cause problems. You may find the following story disturbing enough to share it with others:

The elementary school hired a substitute during the absence of the regular teacher.

Upon returning from lunch, a student asked the substitute if the class had earned a star to put on the bulletin board for the quiet way in which the class had returned. The substitute … >>>


Responsibility and Behavior

Today I’d like to share with you a post from Discipline Answers. I think you’ll agree that while humorous, this post reveals a lot about what’s wrong with so many behavior modification approaches in use today.

“One of the oddest conversations I ever had with a child was with a very bright, very disruptive 7-year-old. He had a history of misbehavior at school with lots of office time and suspensions. At the beginning of the year I sat with him after a minor infraction and during our conversation I casually said something about, ‘Well, you know I can’t MAKE you behave; that’s something you have to want to do for yourself. And you get to think about your behavior … >>>


Clarification Regarding Incentives, Rewards, and Employment

An incentive, such as money, can be a motivator. Receiving money, which occurs after the action, is the external reward.

It is important to remember, however, that the reward teachers (and other working adults) receive can be such things as satisfaction from doing creative work, watching the young grow and mature (or customers have success with a service or product), and developing strong relationships (with students, co-workers, clients, etc.).

In any case, the adult’s reward is not money. Yes, money is an incentive for wanting to be hired, but money is not the reward for working. Once someone is employed, a social contract has been created: salary/compensation IN EXCHANGE FOR a service. A salary is not a bribe in the … >>>


Rewards Lead to Increased Discipline Issues

Have you ever noticed that the more behavior problems a child has, the more “rewards” they ultimately end up with? This may sound odd, because they certainly end up with a larger share of negative consequences too, but in reality, they get more rewards.

A child who always does the right thing does not need a reward to coerce them to be cooperative, but the kids who don’t behave get one. In fact, in some classrooms misbehaving children get stickers (or some other tangible item) every 15 minutes or so. What must the behaving kids think?

And while it’s nice to think that the children who have developed self-discipline understand that others sometimes need rewards, that is simply not true. … >>>


Rewards versus Paychecks

When it comes to the topic of using extrinsic rewards with children (such as money or stickers), people often say it’s okay because it’s the same thing as an adult getting a paycheck at the end of the week.

In reality, it’s very different.

Employment is a social contract. A person (the employee) provides a service, and in return the employer gives remuneration. The only thing a fee for service has in common with rewards (as acknowledgments or as incentives) is that they both MAY involve legal tender. When was the last time you looked at your paycheck and thanked your employer for the reward?

Additionally, would you go to work every day if you didn’t get paid? If you … >>>


5 Reasons Why Rewards Don’t Reduce Discipline Challenges

Too many parents and teacher rely on rewards. They believe that if they reward children for doing something good, the need for discipline will decrease. In fact, rewards don’t reduce discipline issues because they don’t teach children how to be responsible. Here are 5 reasons why rewards don’t work.

1. Rather than a discipline strategy, a reward is actually a bribe. Young people do not need bribes to be good.

2. Rewards can be great incentives—if the person chooses to work toward the reward. If the person is not interested in the reward or does not work toward receiving the reward, it is not much of an incentive.

3. Rewards can be wonderful acknowledgments. They serve to give … >>>


Some Thoughts on Rewards and Punishments


Using rewards is a flawed discipline strategy. Granted, rewards can work as incentives. And in competition, rewards can be very effective motivators—but not so in learning. Grades are a case in point. They only serve as an incentive if the student is interested in obtaining a good grade. Also, grades rarely produce the highest quality learning because the focus is on the grade, not the best work a student is capable of doing.

Rewards are wonderful acknowledgments. However, in The Raise Responsibility System, rewards are not given for expected standards of behavior (a common practice). Giving rewards for appropriate behavior is counterproductive to promoting responsibility. Rewards change motivation from an internal to an … >>>


5 Reasons Why Rewards are a Poor Discipline Strategy

Here are the top 5 reasons why relying on rewards for discipline is a losing strategy:

1. Rewards Can Promote Failure: Rewards open the possibility of failure—failure to obtain the reward and failure to please the parent. In addition, the possibility of failure inherently brings fear of failure. When a child is afraid, the emotion is so powerful that thinking and effort are diminished.

2. Rewards Can Diminish Self-Confidence: Giving rewards on a regular basis can prompt youngsters to think the only things that are important are those for which they are rewarded. The result can be a diminished appreciation and disregard for their natural talents and preferences.

3. Rewards Infer an Unpleasant Task: Why would someone take the … >>>


Responsibility and Choice

Social scientists have determined that we accept inner responsibility for a behavior when we think we have chosen to perform it in the absence of outside pressure, such as a large reward.

The incentive or reward may get us to perform a certain action, but it won’t get us to accept inner responsibility for the act. Consequently, we won’t feel committed to it. The same is true of a strong threat; it may motivate immediate compliance, but it is unlikely to produce long-term commitment.

These conclusions have important implications for parents and teachers. It suggests that we should not use bribes (rewards) or threats (punishment) to discipline children or coerce them to do the things we want them to do. … >>>


Ineffective Discipline

Many teachers and parents reward young people for appropriate behavior. They believe this discipline approach is more effective and positive than using punishments.  

In reality, using rewards as a discipline strategy is nothing more than a behavior modification approach to mold desirable behavior directly—without rooting it in ethical behavior (right or wrong, good or bad, just or unjust, moral or immoral). Using rewards operates at the lowest level of moral judgment, which is that behavior is good because it is rewarded.

Whenever I speak to parents or teachers who have used this manipulative approach, they reveal that while they thought using rewards was working when the children were young, now that the children are older they see the difficulties the … >>>


Self-Discipline is the Best Discipline

By using rewards and imposed punishments as discipline strategies, we give children the easy way out—at the expense of their development and maturation. Rather than empowering them with responsibility and the gift of self-discipline, they quickly learn that temporary compliance will get them off the hook, either in the form of accepting a loss of privileges or writing apology notes that will right all wrongs. Many children would rather take the pain of imposed punishment than take the time to make difficult decisions and exert self-control.

When we use rewards and imposed punishments as motivational strategies, we are teaching kids to make their decisions based on someone else’s reaction. We reinforce the practice of people making their decisions based on … >>>


Rewards and Compensation

People assume that an external manipulator, such as a reward, causes young people to change. As a result, many parents offer children money for doing something they ask. They equate it to earning a salary at work. But remember, salaries in the job marketplace are contractual agreements of compensation for service. They are not bribes to manipulate behavior. When was the last time you looked at your paycheck and thanked your employer for the reward?

Of course, if the compensation were not satisfactory, the person may choose to look elsewhere. As an aside, many studies have shown that “merit pay” is a poor motivator and low on a list of employee priorities. Rewards like these also create more problems … >>>


Reasons to Rethink Your Discipline Approach

There are many reasons for not imposing punishment as discipline to promote responsibility with young people. Among them are: (1) a young person is not an adult with just a younger body, (2) hurting a child in order to instruct or harming a young person in order to teach is contrary to all we know about the brain and learning, (3) an imposed punishment satisfies the punisher more than it changes the behavior of the person being punished, (4) an imposed punishment promotes adversarial relationships and resistance, and perhaps most important, (5) imposing a punishment is not nearly as effective as eliciting a consequence or a procedure to change behavior.

In almost all cases, rewards and punishments need to be … >>>


Why Rewards Don’t Change Behavior

Rewarding young people for expected standards of behavior is counterproductive for promoting responsibility. Yet so many parents and teachers use rewards. Let’s explore some of the reasons.

Rewards offer a seductively quick and easy way to create obedience. Asking a child to do something in order to gain a reward is an effective way to manipulate behavior in the short term. For example, promising, “If you sit here quietly for Mommy, in just a little while I’ll buy you some ice cream,” often produces the desired result. When the child suddenly chooses to behave, rewards can seem very effective. Candy, games, and movies can all be used to manipulate young people toward good behavior. But consider how long the effect … >>>


When Adults Differ on How to Discipline Youth

Even though you may be following the principles in Parenting Without Stress and Discipline Without Stress, you may find yourself in a situation where another adult who interacts with your child prefers to use coercive methods of discipline, such as punishments, rewards, and lecturing. These well-meaning adults may even try to convince you that what you’re doing is incorrect—that children need strict discipline or that rewards are the only way to get youngsters to do anything.

If you ever find yourself in such a situation, let the other adult know that you are NOT against punishments or all rewards. But you are against stress, IMPOSED punishments, and rewarding young people for what they should be doing.

Explain to them … >>>