- Eirana DoyleParticipant
What do you guys do for prizes/incentives that are healthy & practical? I would rather not give toys as a reward. Or perhaps the answer is to have no prizes? Please help me with your ideas.MonicaParticipant
Hmmm…we really don’t do prizes.
Free time/screen time/activity time (Scouts, etc.) can’t begin until the items in the daily planner are completed. That’s all.
We are doing a monthly “prize” if we reach our number of days goal. August it was going out for ice cream. September’s is making caramel apples. I don’t know what October will be. The trick for us is to find something cheap, something we can do/have as a family, and something all the girls want.
In the past, I’ve done a “game” similar to CandyLand – homemade, on the bulletin board. And each day, after each subject was completed, they’d roll a die, move their game piece, draw a card from the pile of cards that was the color of the square they landed on. It said things like “ask mom for a quarter, give dad a hug, give mom a hug, go pet the dogs, get a piece of candy.” I did have some things in the cards like doman extra math lesson or run around the house three times, too. When they rewched the end of the game board, they got $1 and started over again. My younger girls really enjoyed that game.
Last year, we tried to do a prize every 30 days of school, and that was too spread out for us! So that’s why I went with monthly goals this year.
My oldest dd is the problem right now – she just isn’t motivated! The goal for Aug. was to get 20 days of school done. The prize was going out for ice cream. The younger three girls worked really hard and met the goal. My oldest procrastinated and didn’t meet the goal (she’s still on day 17 of school).
She does have a heavier work load than everyone else, but my husband and I both think that what I’m asking her to accomplish is doable.
So, I’m following this thread just in bopes of gleaning some insight.
I guess my question would be: a prize for what? Doing their chores? Their lessons? Having a good attitude?
We don’t do rewards or prizes for good attitude or doing their chores – we expect it, period. And if they don’t comply then there is a consequence.
As for lessons, my kids love stickers, so when we come to a lesson or something that I know is going to be difficult for them, I give them a sticker when done. Also, we have one day a week be a “fun lesson” day. So, Mon-Thur they do their regular lessons, and if they do a good job, then on Fri, they get a break and instead of regular lessons, math might be a game, or a coloring page (math fact coloring pages).
Charlotte felt that children should be motivated by curiosity and love rather than rewards and grades. She felt that the reward for learning was knowledge itself. In her books she tells of laying the feast before them and them falling in love with the books and characters.
I highly recommend to all moms that they read Charlotte’s own works to really get a grasp of her methods. I can testify that if you trust her methods and trust the process over the long haul, then your children will love to learn and will never need trinkets, prizes, or rewards.
Volume 6, Philosophy of Education, pg 254-255
We of the PUS (Parents Union School) have discovered a great thirst for knowledge in children of every age and class. Children also have a remarkable ability to focus their attention, retain, and respond intellectually on the mental diet they consume. The first step is paying attention, and every child of any age, even mentally challenged children, seem to have an unlimited ability to pay attention. And they don’t need grades, prizes, first place standing, praise, threats or blame to do it, either. When a teacher realizes this, great things will be possible, although at first, he may find it hard to believe, or even ludicrous.
^^^How things have changed since this was written. Children today do NOT have an unlimited ability to pay attention.
Children have not changed at all. Same today as when God created them. The habit of attention is to be learned. Her methods are just as relevant today as the day they were written. We as parents need to have a paradigm shift and relearn how to train up our children.
I’m just not sure how to apply that to our present-day lives. We live in a culture steeped in rewards. Even though I don’t want to have to give out rewards (bribes), everyone else does. (Sunday School teachers, etc.) My girls hear about it from their friends, family, etc…..so my girls “need” rewards too. (Or so we think.)
And I LOVE prizes! I enjoy working towards a goal, meeting the goal, and then getting the thing that I’ve been wanting. (a cup of coffee after drinking four cups of water; a piece of chocolate after washing a sinkful of dishes; a chance to sit and read MY book for a little, after getting everyone else upstairs and in bed)
To not reward children who’ve been raised with rewards (regardless of size or monetary value or frequency) and then withdraw the rewards doesn’t seem right. Explaining it doesn’t make the hurt go away. Explaining it doesn’t automatically ensure that they will work for the joy of learning.
Depending on the personality of the child, they might not ever get addicted to the joy of learning. I was always motivated by grades. I love checking off lists and “accomplishing” things. Now that I’m a (mature-ish *L*) adult, I have found joy in just learning for fun. Nerdy joy *L*. I still need a list to check off. Or a list of the books I’ve read so that I can try to beat my previous year’s record.
My children do attend to their family-together lessons. Three of them will work on their independent lessons without too much interference from me.
One of them has developed a large procrastination muscle. NO prize seems enough to motivate her. She’d rather be outside daydreaming or feeding calves (it’s not that she doesn’t like to work – she is quite the farm worker), but she putzes terribly at housework and at school work. No consequence seems to make a difference (the standards: no screens, no talking on the phone, no dessert, no fun books, etc.).
When she decides she wants to do her school work, she does. And if she doesn’t want to, she procrastinates, stalls, etc. (All quietly – very rare is the emotional outburst or tears.) For chores, she does them without complaint (but sometimes rather sloppily — which she has learned means a re-do, but still hasn’t learned to do it right the first time in every instance).
So what is there to do for that child? She’s my oldest, is a careful older sister (she sees danger before the younger ones do), is a fabulous uni-loader driver, she’s 12. She has a heart for young children, loves reading aloud to toddlers and littles, wants to help out in younger Sunday School classes, and in Good News Club. She’s sensitive to God speaking in her life (about everything except school *L*). She reads her Bible, memorizes verses without being asked to or told to.
I don’t know. This was awfully rambly. But I’m still not sure how to motivate people. I’ve always been terrible at motivating students, even as a private piano teacher. I have “fired” several piano students! *L*
I guess I feel like I’m motivated to do something, why can’t you motivate your self? If a student doesn’t want to practice, if getting a sticker on the page isn’t working, if the parent nagging isn’t working, what else is there to do? If me telling the student that they need to practice more, that it’s a waste of their parents’ money and time and of my time isn’t enough to make the student practice, then I don’t need to tie up my time with that student. I can fill that time with another student. I just don’t know.
(and still she rambled on….. *red-faced* :))
Actually, Waynes… yes they have. Because in the day when Charlotte Mason wrote those words, the disorders that are common and prevalent among children today did not exist, or at least, not anywhere near to the amount they do today. And no, it’s not just because of poor parenting or “training”. Is it in some cases? Sure. But in many cases it’s also because of legitimate medical, biological problems. Do *some* children have a limitless ability for attention, sure. Do all? Most definitely not.Eirana DoyleParticipant
I appreciate the input here. Thank you! The prizes I was referring to were more for motivation. I agree with Karen and Wanyesweakervessel. 🙂 God actually created a rewards system and we will see that in Heaven. We are awaiting some astounding prizes! Prizes are not wrong. But they have a time and place like everything else. Children do need the same things that they needed years ago in Charlotte’s time. The message stays the same, so to speak. The method might change. I think there is a happy merging of the two camps. I don’t know if I have found that yet, but I will keep searching. 🙂
Karen, I think that you motivating yourself with a reward is different than rewarding a child. One is internal and one is external. But that’s just how I see it. I think Charlotte would say that you need to try to pick one habit at a time to work on with your daughter. Get her on board with the reasons and help her to see the positive benefits. It sounds like you’re saying that she’s completely capable but is in the habit of not having the self control to do the school work for the right reasons but has no problem doing what she wants to do with the chores and such. Does that make sense? Sonya’s video on training habits is really good for understanding how to get them on board and makes a lot of sense as she talks about natural consequences. After being a mom for 28 years I’ve come to believe that a lot more is habit than we could ever realize. And unfortunately some of those habits are tough to break but it can be done. I hope you build your relationship with your daughter through this challenge 🙂
2Corin57, I believe that Charlotte would say that every child has the possibility for attention up to their ability when considering medical or biological problems. She said that we need to challenge them without overwhelming them. Our expectations need to be appropriate for sure!
I was understanding by the OP that mom felt the child was capable of what she was asking but that the child just was not doing things for the right reasons. If we are not having too high of expectations and truly believe the child can handle what we’re asking then I believe that most often society has trained them in the habit of expecting a reward or prize for their behavior. IMHO it is our job as parents to retrain those habits.
Sorry if I misunderstood.
So do you think if I had my oldest dd pick her own “reward” for completing school work (or whatever), that would train her to be intrinsically motivated?
I just have so much trouble with the whole motivation thing. I know what I want (sometimes…?) and I just work towards it. Sometimes in fits and spurts, but the goal is in front of me. I have a hard time understanding people who don’t have goals…..I can’t give her goals. And yet, I’ve explained, talked, yelled(!), let natural consequences happen, and none of it seems to work.Wings2flyParticipant
Following this, as I have a similar problem with one child, especially when it comes to work – school or chores.
I have tried several rewards systems and they seem to work okay at first, but do not last long (motivating). I think Waynesweakervessel may be on to something here. Maybe she needs to set a goal/reward instead of me setting it. She is easily distracted too, though.
I am currently experimenting with Vicky Bentley’s Everyday Family Chore System. It involves a system of clear expectations, a visual reminder, inspection (by mom), rewards, and consequences.
- The topic ‘Motivation’ is closed to new replies.