7. No Reward For Good Exams-Woodmam

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Presenting rewards as bait for learning is a bribery tactic by which adults demand that children reward themselves with grades. It takes the devotion to learning out of the child's mind and instead puts the mind on how to get a prize in exchange for it and how to please the parents. This makes the child's mind always suspended in mid-air, in a state of worry and vanity, and makes it difficult to study without distractions and on the ground.

  We have been very careful to encourage Yuan Yuan in all aspects, but only give her moral encouragement, and hardly ever use material rewards. The "no reward" policy was even more important in her studies.

  As I mentioned in another article, "Only a "merit book" but not a "demerit book", the only reward we gave Yuan Yuan was to write down the things she deserved to be praised in a small book and draw a small red flower. Even though this was a "pie in the sky", it was not used as an incentive to study, and none of the little red flowers in the book were awarded for good test scores.

  The policy of "no reward for good test scores" is accompanied by a policy of "no criticism for bad test scores". That is to say, in our case, it is normal for her to do well in the exams, and we will not be happy if she does well in the exams, or angry and disappointed if she does not, and there is certainly no relevant reward or punishment.

  It's not that we don't really care about her academic performance at heart, as parents, we also strongly want her to have good academic performance, but this desire has been locked in our hearts and translated into daily details of handling and thinking, rather than often showing it in words and expressions.

  Parents may worry that without reminders or stimulation in the area of learning, their children will not do well in school, and this worry is superfluous.

  In today's social life, the importance of exams has been exaggerated to the point of no return, and there is no shortage of "score fields" around children. From the very beginning of school, children naturally know that good grades are very important. Parents don't have to say anything, and children will try to get a good grade. Even if the parents do not reward the child, the good grades themselves bring him great joy and are enough of an incentive.

  Parents' indifference to grades is a counterbalance to the phenomenon of over-exaggerated grades in society and schools, pulling the child back into a down-to-earth learning mindset and preventing him from stressing out or becoming vain in his studies.

  In our experience, parents do not exaggerate the test and do not reinforce the score, so that the child is always more open in terms of the test, so that his attention is not distracted from the study, there is no pressure in the study, not only will not affect the child's performance, in the long run can promote learning progress.

  Yuan Yuan's academic performance has been basically satisfactory to us, and we always feel very happy when we look at her grade book at the end of each semester. We may take her to buy a very nice dress after the holidays, but only because it looks good and it is time to buy her one, we never associate her test scores with the dress.

  The test scores themselves are the reward, and a faint "good" and a look of pleasure in the parent's eyes when they close the grade book is enough to motivate the child to do better.

  One mother told me that she used many ways to motivate her child. When the child does well in the test, she takes him to the playground, buys brand-name sports shoes, eats western food, and even promises to take him on a trip abroad if he reaches a certain level. But each method can only be used once or twice, and then it is ineffective, so the child's study has not been much better.

  This mother seems to have used many methods, but analyzing her methods, there is really only one, that is, material stimulation, the difference is only the prize is different.

  The extent to which a person loves a prize depends on the extent to which he lacks and needs it in this area. The common thinking of parents coming from the era of material poverty is material stimulation, a notion left over from the era of supply shortage.

  In the case of today's children, there is not much of a material deficit, so material rewards do not really stimulate their enthusiasm. Even if it does bring some motivation, it is phased and does not last long, and learning requires a persistent attitude.

  Material rewards do not address the root of the problem, but have a number of side effects.

  First, it diverts the child's learning purpose.

  A child who goes to school for a pair of roller skates starts to become utilitarian in his learning. He may get good grades in a short period of time, but once he gets the shoes, he will slack off on his studies. Vulgar rewards can only bring about vulgar motivation, it makes the child not able to focus on learning itself, treating the prize as an end, but treating learning as a means to an end, and the real goal is lost.

  Second, it corrupts the child's spirit of realistic learning.

  What learning needs most is an interest in intellectual inquiry and a down-to-earth attitude toward learning, which is the fundamental motivation and fundamental method for maintaining good grades. Presenting rewards as bait for learning is a bribery tactic by which adults demand that children reward themselves with grades. It takes the devotion to learning out of the child's mind and instead puts the mind on how to get a prize in return and how to please the parents. It makes the child's mind always suspended in mid-air, in a state of worry, in a state of vanity and impatience, and in a state of learning that is hardly distracted and grounded.

  Third, it makes the child antagonistic towards learning.

  There are variables in any test, and no one can guarantee a good score in every test. If a child wants a pair of roller skates early on, the parents say they will buy them for him if he can get into the top ten in his class on the test. When the child ends up 12th in the test, the parent says to wait until the next test when the child is in the top ten. The parents thought this would motivate the child to keep trying. The child will also promise to try to get into the top ten next time because he has a deal with the parents, but he can't help but worry about the next test. He will have a temporary pleasure when he gets into the top ten next time, but it won't be long before the parents will surely have new conditions to put forward in the new round of exams. Each exam is a hurdle to cross, and once he doesn't do well, he gets frustrated. Unknowingly, he becomes averse to studying and hates exams.

  When using incentives on your child's learning, be sure to consider the inherent relationship between the way and the learning, and don't let the two form a conflict. The same is true of buying roller skates, which would be much more effective if done differently.

  Parents who know that their child wants a pair of roller skates before the test and are prepared to buy them for him are better off not saying anything before the test and not making any ranking demands on the child. When your child gets the twelfth place, say appreciatively to your child, "That's good, you're almost in the top ten. Then change the subject and ask him if he wants to buy roller skates, just when he has time to play on vacation.

  This turns the "disadvantage" of being twelfth in the test into an advantage ("almost in the top ten"), and then follows it up with the anticipation of buying roller skates. There is no conflict between the test scores and the roller skates, and the child is well conditioned to think of "learning" with a pleasant emotional experience.

  No matter what parents have in mind, the feeling you give to your child must be simple and pleasant. Give him roller skates, not because he got into the top ten, but because he likes roller skating; give him a hundred dollars, not because he got a hundred percent in math, but because he wants to buy Jay Chou's new song - don't reject or reward without reason, and especially don't attach any learning-related conditions to your child's normal needs. conditions.

  There is another situation to be aware of. I met a parent who did not reward her child with material things such as money, but with "time". Her 12-year-old son loved the Internet, and she was determined to make sure he studied well. She later found a way to reward her son with 2 hours of Internet time for every test he took, as long as he scored 85 or more in one class.

  This idea seemed to make sense on the surface, as it would allow the child to study hard and at the same time satisfy his Internet requirements. Her approach seemed to work at first, as she rewarded her child with "time" when he scored 85 or higher in a few classes, as promised. The child was very happy. But over time, the child did not "more than 85 points" as envisaged, but less and less, and the desire to go online has not been reduced. There were more and more conflicts with her about this. The reward program was declared a failure.

  Analysis of this mother's reward method, in fact, and the aforementioned material rewards, the same as the creation of the relationship between the purchase of opposites. What the child lacks most is time, so let him buy it with his grades. Time here becomes a variant of material things. The problem is that this purchasing relationship is often not realized or not satisfying enough because of the "learning" aspect, so the child does not get enough time to play games and becomes antagonistic towards "learning". This antagonism makes his performance even worse, he gets even less time, and then he performs even worse in school - things go into a vicious circle.

  The mom asked me what to do, and I thought about it and said, "Generally speaking, it's a necessity for your child to play games, so let him play as much as you can, and don't just take away a hobby from him. If your child is really playing too much and it's interfering with normal learning, you can make playing the game against another thing he wants to get, so that playing the game becomes a "task" he has to complete to get that thing, which may offset his interest in the game.

  For example, if he wants to buy an $800 mountain bike, tell him that he can earn $10 for every time he goes online, and when he has earned enough money, he will buy the bike.

  The important thing to note here is that you don't show your distaste for the game in your tone, and treat this as a normal hobby for your child. This way he was on the internet once a day for four hours at a time, under this policy he may become on the internet four times a day for an hour at a time. It takes 80 visits to earn $800, and that's not going to happen in a day or two - that is, it's going to be slightly more difficult to design whatever the "prize" is, so that he doesn't get it easily - 80 visits. -80 times on the machine, how it must be half a month and 20 days. In the process you also keep stimulating him with mountain bikes, so that he feels that the process is longer and that the Internet has become a task.

  For the child, once he feels that something is a task, he will have a sense of drudgery at the same time. By doing this, by the time he finally buys a mountain bike, the interest in the game will most likely have been greatly dampened. If his interest in the game comes back after a while, you can design the next "reward" along these lines. Be careful not to let your child know your true intentions throughout the process.

  I think my "method" might seem like a bad idea to the child if he hears about it before he does it. But unbeknownst to him, he should be happy with this method - a painless reduction in his Internet addiction, less conflict with his parents, and less damage in his growing life. This may be important for him in the present and in the future. This should be a problem-solving idea, and one that prevents problems from arising.

  Parents should also be reminded that purely verbal rewards should not be overdone either.

  A child only needs external praise and affirmation to solidify his confidence if he is unsure of his abilities. No matter what the matter is, as long as the child has developed a more certain ability, it is not necessary to praise him often, otherwise he will feel pretentious and cheap, but rather make him doubt himself.

  For example, when Yuan Yuan sewed a doll's dress for the first time, I praised her sincerely, but when she reached the fourth piece, I no longer needed to praise her with words like "You sewed really well". I said, "Your stitches are more even and your hems are straighter than the last one". This kind of praise sounds more real to her and brings a sense of accomplishment.

  It is better not to say too much praise than to say nothing at all. There are various channels for parents to express their sincere appreciation for their children, not only through direct praise, but also through small things in daily life. The meaning of not hitting a child and not praising a child excessively is actually similar, both parents do not disturb the child's self-perception.

  In the development of various good character habits of children, rewards indiscriminately will not help children to fly, but will become a stone hanging on the wings of children. "No rewards for good tests" is precisely to avoid giving your child a handicap.

  Special Tips

  The policy of "no reward for a good test" is accompanied by a policy of "no criticism for a bad test". That is to say, in our case, it is normal for her to do well in the exams, and we will not be happy when she does well in the exams, and we will be angry and disappointed when she does not do well in the exams, and there is certainly no reward or punishment.

  The parents' indifference to grades is a balance to the phenomenon of excessive attention to grades in society and schools, and brings the child back to a realistic learning mindset, preventing him from getting stressed or becoming vain in his studies.

  It makes the child unable to focus on learning itself, treating the prize as an end in itself, but treating learning as a means to an end, and the real goal is lost.

  ● For the child, once he feels that something is a task, he will have a sense of drudgery at the same time.

  ● A child needs external praise and affirmation to solidify his confidence only when he is unsure of his abilities. No matter what the matter is, as long as the child has developed a more certain ability, there is no need to praise him often, otherwise he will feel pretentious and cheap, and will instead be made to doubt himself.

Educational toys can be used to prompt children's learning abilities

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