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Topic: Bribing Cooperation

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Subject: Bribing Cooperation
Date Posted: 9/19/2008 8:30 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2008
Posts: 28
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This probably puts me in the "Bad Parent" category for some but after 3 years in PS (3 yrs hs before that) we've bribed our oldest to do all her work this year and to do well (50% or better) on the standardized test required this year with the luzury of her own laptop. She's 11 and will be 12 right after she would get the laptop. Does this sound to extreme or since she will also be using it for schoolwork is it ok. (I will be locking the internet on it so she can't get online to those concerned about that)

Date Posted: 9/20/2008 2:48 PM ET
Member Since: 9/14/2005
Posts: 5,499
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Personally, I have absolutely no issue with this.  My parents had incentives for me as a kid.....if I remember correctly, $2 per A on report cards and if I got all A's then I got to go out to dinner at my choice of places (a HUGE deal in our family).  

My DH and I were just discussing this same issue....my 11 yo DS has gotten a tad lazy with his work lately (making silly mistakes when I know it's because he's rushing) and we've decided to award $1 for A's on tests and quizzes.  We're hoping that he takes the time to do things right and if it costs me a few $'s, I'm ok with that.  :)

Date Posted: 9/22/2008 1:39 PM ET
Member Since: 12/8/2006
Posts: 29,785
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I don't see it as bribing, I see it as a reward for a job well done. I just started homeschooling my 2 kids this year and I'm having to do it, just to get through a day! We're all trying to adjust and I'm thinking of offering something big to them if they sit down and cooperate with me, then pass the testing this year.

Date Posted: 9/22/2008 2:31 PM ET
Member Since: 2/2/2007
Posts: 4,588
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I don't know if it's bribing but we have "Mom's Store", which is a basket with little treats that the kidlets can buy with fake money I printed up. They have to earn the money by completing their work, showing a pleasant attitude towards school and other things. The trinkets/treats are usually fun notepads or stickers, gum or mints and such that I pick up at the Dollar Tree.

It's fun for them and it works and I feel like I'm teaching them the value of saving for what you want (we've done big prizes too, like a tamagotchi for $200). That took them almost 3 months to save for!

Date Posted: 9/23/2008 10:00 AM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2006
Posts: 181
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I got over the mindset of never having rewards pretty quickly. Who ever said that kids in school don't get rewards? Why do some homeschoolers give each other a hard time if someoother homeschooler offers a reward to their child? I even have friends who refuse to do the prize laden public library's summer reading program out of distaste for it. Whatever. We each get to choose what is right for our kids and we each also have different financial situations in our homes. What I mean is some people I know who don't give rewards for work done instead buy their kids anything and everything they want all the time (unconnected to a holiday). I could cite issues with that type of indulgence and also start discussing how parents set the seed for materialism in their own children (even if they don't realize they are doing it).

I want rewards to be something the kids want (not little plastic toys or whatever else others use that my kids don't want). So I do some cash rewards. I keep a book list that my kids read. Onto the list go real books (not comics), and books on grade level or above. In other words my 6th grader cannot put picture books on the list. After reading 10 books he gets $10.

When my kids finish an entire year's HS curriculum i.e. math for the entire grade, they earn $10. Smaller workbooks like a logic workbook that they worked on for months I give $5. Penmanship workbook done is $5. Not all subjects have cash, just the ones with a workbook and pages to complete, and spelling (Spelling Power for each grade level completed). These rewards happen through the year not just in June because of the way my kids work faster on some curriculums or are finishing up last year's level at the start of the next school year.  

Note also we do not give allowance here so this is the kids only chance to earn their own spending money. I also do not buy them stuff they want all the time 'just because'. At their ages (8, 11) they get fun gifts on their birthdays and Christmas and I don't buy toys or games or YuGiOh! cards in between.

I hope she works hard and gets the computer!! Just please put some parental control software on there if you let her on the Internet (Safekeeper Plus is a great one).

 



Last Edited on: 9/23/08 10:01 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/23/2008 3:37 PM ET
Member Since: 2/2/2007
Posts: 4,588
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We don't do allowance either Christine but the kidlets get paid $1 once per week if their daily chores have been done all week.

They can also cash in their "mom money" from our store. It's only worth 10 cents per "mom dollar", but they get many of them throughout the course of a day. $3 for each subject completed, $3 for pleasant attitude, etc/ By the end of the day, they could have earned around 15-20 mom dollars which would be $1.50 - $2.00. They haven't figured this out yet though.

 

Date Posted: 9/23/2008 4:12 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2008
Posts: 351
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We also use a reward program.  We do not do an allowance.  I have always thought of our reward program as the child's paycheck.  Even though my husband loves his job as a RN, he would stay home with us everyday if not for needing that reward at the end of every two week pay period! :-)     He does his job for the pay and the experiences that he enjoys along the way.  He is learning all the time at work.  But lets face it, the "reward" he brings to the bank makes the job much more enjoyable.  The girls and I are no different at home.  When they work hard to learn something new or expand on something they really took a liking to, or the light turns on after weeks of struggling with the 7s times table, why not got that paycheck?    We decide on a reward ahead of time and what needs to be done to reach the goal.  Once the goal has been accomplished, we set a new one.  It can be anything from a day of family bowling to a new book to a day of mountain biking.   Is the black belt given to a student who works hard and studies hard for years a bribe?  NO WAY, it's an honor.   I always thought a bribe was to pay someone to do something wrong.  Encouraging a child to learn is far from wrong!     Your daughter will work to earn that computer and be proud of herself for the accomplishment.  What better lesson to learn than hard work pays off?  My 2 cents. 

Date Posted: 9/23/2008 9:05 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2008
Posts: 28
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ZooKeeper I love the store idea. With my soon to be 7 yo we've been doing these little certificate awards that I got from the Dollar Tree with awards like 30 minutes at the park after lunch etc. With winter coming and looking to be a bad one this year I love the store idea and I can find tons of stuff at the Dollar Tree to use along with a random certificate for a board game alone woth mom.

 

Christine I fully intend to lock the computer off the internet as soon as I download eSword for her for her bible studies. I never would dream of letting a kid on the internet alone.

Date Posted: 9/24/2008 8:50 AM ET
Member Since: 8/14/2008
Posts: 3,574
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I read a book when my children were young - and I have forgotten the name or i'd post it - on the topic of setting up incentive programs for kids schoolwork. It was written by a teacher, I remeber that. And the author said, when parents said they didn't like 'bribing' their kids, he would ask them, 'Would you go to work, if you weren't going to get paid for it? Why should they have to bribe you, when contributing to society is really what you 'should' do?' And, mamanavy - the basket does sound great. I used a treat basket with my kids when they were young. I just wanted to say - you don't really have to use the $stores coupons. Obviously you have a computer - build your own coupons. 'Make cookies with mom'. 'Pick the movie for movie night (with popcorn!)'. My youngest sister uses a reward system with her kids - she HS, but the system covers all kinds of behavoirs. everything she wants included has a value - a number of 'kid bucks' you earn by doing XYZ. or lose as a fine for doing, or not doing, something. It started out as a way to let the kids earn and 'buy' their game system time, but the kids were so enamoured with just earning the points that soon they built up so many points that she was afraid they'd spend way too much time on the game system. She either had to raise the price of game system time to an amount she felt was exhorbadent, or, add a list of rewards to shop from. They have a box of treats and toys that can be bought, and also a list of things that don't exactly fit in a box - 'play a board game with dad', 'lunch at McDs', ect.

Last Edited on: 9/24/08 8:55 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/24/2008 1:07 PM ET
Member Since: 2/2/2007
Posts: 4,588
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Virginia I printed out play money here: http://www.donnayoung.org/math/money.htm

I used the one on the bottom b/c you can get 24 on a sheet. Each kidlet has an envelope with their name on it to keep their earned money in. I keep all the "bank's" money in a ziploc bag.

And as Latricia pointed out the prizes don't have to be things you buy, they can be "baking cookies with mom", staying up an extra 15 minutes, 20 minutes computer time, . . . .  whatever you can come up with that they would be interested in.

We just started our store again this week, we had taken a break over the summer and I really saw that laziness creep back in.

To me, their job right now is to be students and to be good siblings. Since that is their job then I don't see the harm in paying them. Anything in life worth having is worth working for and I want them to know the value of hard work.

They still have some jobs that aren't rewarded, those are the things you do to help the family simple because you are part of the family.

ETA: I just realized that echoed Latricia's comment about making cookies, lol. Must be because I'm so hungry this morning.



Last Edited on: 9/24/08 1:13 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/24/2008 5:57 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2008
Posts: 28
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I know I don't need to use the Dollar Tree coupons but honestly they were cheaper at $1 for 60 than I can print them up for. (I really really wnat an all in one laser duplex printer for Christmas santa. I promise I've been a very very very very ad infinum good girl).



Last Edited on: 9/24/08 5:57 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/24/2008 8:17 PM ET
Member Since: 2/2/2007
Posts: 4,588
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If you've been that good, you should ask for the printer with the flatbed scanner/copier as well. DH bought me one and I love, love, love it. It's great when I need 1 or 2 pages copied and don't want to run to Staples or Kinkos.

 

Date Posted: 9/24/2008 9:50 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2008
Posts: 28
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Umm an all in one is a scan copy and print printer. the duplex means it can print on both sides of the paper at once (NO MORE FLIPPING PAGES!!!)

Date Posted: 9/25/2008 6:41 PM ET
Member Since: 2/1/2007
Posts: 208
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This is not bribery, it is behavior modification and totally acceptable.  It's used in the corporate world every day.  Adults do it all the time by rewarding themselves.  But  kids aren't able to reward themselves  as we are as adults.

As a retired teacher, 35 years in Exceptional Ed, my only concern would be to be sure that the 50% goal on the tests is reasonable.  Not knowing what she had made in the past, I don't know if it is or not.  I have found it better to have personal goals, measuring how much better you did now based on what you did before, not yourself against someone else.  For example, I can't break a world record in swimming but I can improve my time over what I had last time.

Also, she might need some shortterm rewards.  It's hard to keep working toward a longtime goal.  When I was losing weight,I needed a reward closer han months needed to lose the 30 pounds I wanted to lose.  I probably would have given up if I had had to wait that long without a reward!

Your kids are lucky to have you homeschooling them.

Date Posted: 9/26/2008 12:13 AM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2008
Posts: 28
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Our short term rewards are monthly and are movie rentals (with in our standards of course)

 

The 50% for the test she is taking only requires she know the majority of 4th grade topics (she's in the 5th grade). I picked that score because she is behind and I didn't want to set the goal too high. Whe doesn't know what the score represents though. Also anything below 50% and the SD might try and declare inadequate progress despite the teacher or psychologist evaluation. I live in PA not exactly the most HS friendly state.

 

Thanks for telling me to call it behavior modification now I have a term my parents won't critize once she tells her grandparents she's working hard for the computer.