Posts Tagged rewards and motivation

Is a Treat the Same as a Reward?

Many teachers and parents who read and implement Discipline Without Stress and Parenting Without Stress often ask if giving children a treat once in a while is the same as giving them a reward.

Here’s a useful distinction to keep in mind: Rewards are always tied to some condition, whereas treats are given unconditionally. In other words, if you simply give a child a cupcake or a small toy, that’s not a reward. But if you say to the child, “If you do X, I’ll give you a cupcake,” then that’s a reward.

Realize too that the nature of the actual item being offered has no bearing on whether it can be considered a reward or a treat. A glittery … >>>


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 … >>>


Competition, Rewards, and Discipline

Human beings, especially of the male gender, are competitive. Competition is a natural part of our culture. Newspapers, magazines, and other media are full of information on business and sports, both based on competition and highlighting “winners” who receive rewards in some form.

No one can doubt the importance of rewards as motivators. However, as with anything in life, context is critical. Because competition and rewards spur performance, does that mean that competition is also best within a family? Is it wise for husbands and wives or siblings to compete? Or should they collaborate for the benefit of the family team?

The topic of reward comes up often in this blog. And as past posts explain, rewards can serve as … >>>


The Three Most Effective Motivators

I received the following communication:

First, I want to say that I have taught for 25 years and have never had to use rewards or punishment for discipline. However, I have moved to a new school where every teacher in the school uses the “pull your card” or “move your boat,” etc., resulting in punishments or rewards.

I have never had to do this but have been able to TEACH MY STUDENTS TO BEHAVE BECAUSE IT WAS IN THEIR BEST INTERESTS AND THE RIGHT THING TO DO. However, some of the children I am now teaching have no idea how to use self-discipline. They asked me to create a chart. I was ready to make up my own little chart … >>>