Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Reading...a Lucrative Business

(John-Heath with nickels he earned playing a word game)
In our family we reward effort with many things. Stickers, hugs, high fives, trips for ice-cream after school and surprises (which end up usually being kisses) to name a few. If our children do well academically in school, behave well, and help out around the house they are somehow compensated.

Also, John-Heath, on days he remains on "green card" at his school, is treated by the AP at my school to a snack and drink from the concession stand set up each afternoon during bus duty (he usually picks a Yoo-hoo and peanut M&Ms). If he has received a yellow card during the school day he may still wear his tie and blow his whistle calling students to their buses but he is not allowed to carry the real walkie-talkie and he receives no snack. Amazingly, on days when he receives a yellow card (like today) he is not that hungry in the afternoon. You've heard, "It takes a village to raise a child." Well, that is certainly the case with my son.

In addition to the above mentioned prizes for good work and behavior, we also, on occasion, pay our children money. Now I realize there are some out there who may have strong feelings against this but here are a couple reasons why I tend to think it can be a good thing.

1. I am regularly paid for my job, as are all working adults. We stress to Ren (a sophomore in HS) that her job is that of a student. Of course, we want her to enjoy school and have fun along the way with her friends, but while she is in the classroom and when assignments are due her number one priority is being the best student she can be and doing the best job on her assignments she can do. No, she doesn't always heed our advice but when she does I feel she deserves to be paid for that effort.

Don't you just love how easily Spiderman blends with Buzz and Woody? I hope I'm not the only one with kids in mismatched pj's.

2. Now, while payment doesn't necessarily need to be in a monetary form, I find paying my children cash instills in them the value of a job well done and also fiscal responsibility.
From time to time there are "wants" my children have (not to be confused with "needs"). Those new pieces of track needed for Thomas and friends or more tunes for an iPod are more readily available if they have been saving those dimes and quarters and dollars. And you know what? Sometimes, they've decided that an item they've just been dying for is not really worth parting with their hard earned money. Okay, let me clarify something - Ren has made decisions in the past to refrain from spending her money to buy certain things. John-Heath is still a work in progress.
The trunk in the background is the one I bought at the school carnival. It was made in his kindergarten class and is painted with the handprints of all his little classmates. His is the green one that is visible.

Of course, even with the money and the hugs and the stickers and the Yoo-hoos we, above all, teach our children to be good and do good because it is the right thing to do. So far, so good.


Heather said...

We pay our two teenagers for good grades. My son doesn't seem to care all that much, but my fashionista daughter loves it. We told our son if he earned a "B" in English this semester,we would take him to a rock concert, and it seems to be working! Good grades should be positively reinforced! For my kids, money works!

Tyla said...

Heather, I hope your son works hard for his good grade and is able to attend that concert! My daughter is doing all she can at the moment to save up money for a new pageant dress :)

Farmchick said...

My children earn things for good behavior and grades. I just see it as positive reinforcement!

Terry said...

You asked about my propane tank. It is 125 gal, so a bit bigger than yours. It is only used for our gas fireplace also. Ours is right up against the house by the fireplace chimney. So just outside our living room. I am sure that if there were a problem that you talked about, they would not put tanks so close. Don't worry!