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only if you pay me!

November 11, 2009

we live in an age that rewards for everything.

you give/get rewards for getting good grades.

you give/get an allowance for keeping your room clean.

you tip at the fast food driv-thru window 😕 seriously.

rewards are great. they inspire, encourage and motivate. but have we taken it too far? arent good grades expected? and i mean, doing the best you can good grades. shouldnt we be expected to pick up after ourselves? does money need to be given for making your own bed? why are we lavishing this generation with rewards and gifts for doing exactly what theyre supposed to be doing?

is it, perhaps, our fault that we live in a society that feels entitled to everything? who feels they are owed everything under the sun?

have we gone too far that even the simplest, most expected-common courtesy acts are viewed as spectacular and extra-ordinary?

honestly…im afraid so.

so…what do we do about it? can we do anything?

does anyone else see this, or am i just being cynical?

 

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16 Comments leave one →
  1. November 12, 2009 1:36 am

    No, I see it in the world, but I don’t see it in our house. If my kids do “exceptional work” they will hear about it, but if they do something that’s required of them, they, ummmm, get to NOT be in trouble for NOT doing it.
    Not throwing stones at all, but when we stop blaming this, so called, “society” and start creating societies of our own, in our homes, there will much less competition with the world.
    My 7 yr. old has pretty much caught on, but with my 4 yr old, she tells me 10 times a day what “Lizzy, Beth, Stacy,etc.” gets to do that she doesn’t. I refuse to debate with them and my only response is, “you’re mine, they’re not.”
    Rewarding mediocrity, produces more of it.

    • November 12, 2009 6:14 am

      “Rewarding mediocrity, produces more of it.” OOOOHHH! LOVE this!

      • November 12, 2009 9:55 am

        I agree. Had this conversation not too long ago with my dad who was commenting on our no score, no winner/looser soccer league.

        I think that when kids are young, to keep them somewhat motivated (especially when it comes to outside activities) having a reward system is a good thing. But it needs to be weened out of their lives just like the pacy, or the bottle, so they CAN learn responsibility.

        My 8 yr old earns time to do the things she likes to do, like playing her DS, or a computer game. But if she doesn’t do what is expected, she looses the opportunity to have the enjoyment. Is that rewarding, or teaching her to be a responsible member of our family?

        When she does well in school, or comes home and reports that she has behaved as expected, she earns my congratulations. When she comes home and reports that she had to endure some level of punishment for poor behavior, she gets to see my disappointment. Is that rewarding or teaching her that her actions dictate how others treat her?

        At some point, she will be “on her own” to decide things like “will I do what is expected and clean my room or suffer the punishment?” In order for her to learn that not meeting expectations gets her nothing, and meeting them is in itself the reward, there has to be a mechanism in place to teach her that.

        But when she’s 16 or 17 and working at McDonald’s (God, help me!!) or wherever, I’m going to make darn sure that she realize that the paycheck she gets is reward enough! No tip taking for this family!!! Nu-uh….not gonna do it! (Well, if she’s waiting tables, then ok.)

  2. November 12, 2009 6:06 am

    agree with Toby..my kids are older, and they do get allowance..but it is for the above the normal things i expect from them, it helps me, and it teaches them to save thier money to buy those things they want that i see as useless. Never give an advance..and it seems to motivate them to strive towards doing better, and being more aggressive at getting something down rather than procrastinating and hoping someone else will do it. Kids really do need to learn to save money, and use it with care…our Government should take this lesson…ooooo ooooo I would love to teach them 😯

  3. November 12, 2009 6:12 am

    the words on my bracelet that I wear are ringing in my ears after reading this: better moms make a better world. Now, that is not to say that the reason for all this “entitlement” and the “rewards” are from bad moms, but it is just a reminder that everything starts at home. Everything. And if you raise your kids to feel that even the smallest gesture deserves a “reward” beyond the praise of a parent, then you are raising adults who want a tip for handing you a bag of greasy fries instead of a kind “thank you.”

    Everything starts at home, and everything can be corrected at home.

  4. November 12, 2009 6:42 am

    Oh I loathe and I mean loathe rewarding mediocrity.

    I really think we are raising a generation of under performing, entitlement expecting kids.

    A trophy for participating (ok when you are 4), money for grades, and the list goes on is way out of bounds.

    Competition is what helps teach us and there is no better lesson than failure. If you reward everything, you never fail and thus never learn.

    GREAT POST!

  5. November 12, 2009 7:11 am

    Loved this post. Food for thought….

  6. Christie Ulrich permalink
    November 12, 2009 7:13 am

    Oh my gosh, you are so right. I do agree that we have to not allow this in our own homes, and I don’t, but it’s EVERYWHERE!!! I think we’re gonna really regret it as a society because nothing is special anymore. Not to mention that noone serves anyone but themselves. I grew up a pastors kid and we always served our church by helping in the nursery and things. Now they all want paid!! Ridiculous!!! Great post!

  7. Heidi permalink
    November 12, 2009 8:17 am

    This is really touchy subject with me personally. I was raised in a fairly wealthy home. I never asked for anything cuz it was already given to me in an abundance. I learned from early on hey give someone a $20, and you’ll get something for it. My parents would leave for a week off to greece and I would have $300 to live on at home by myself @12. But THEN I knew nothing different. I lived among politicians etc. I knew I was loved because I had the car, the penny loafers, and the Brittanica shirts and left over filet mignon in my partridge family lunch box.

    UNTIL today.

    (I have 3 children. One of them is an adult (in college), teen, and 9 yr old.)
    I am the only working parent (full time working mom and ministry leader). We have debt too the point of choking, I don’t know if our electric bill will be paid tomorrow.
    BUT… My kids do get rewarded. If it’s not in the money because I have none, it’s in my speech, in my sacarfice, or even in theirs. No they may not get to go to all the football games, or even eat out much. But they know they are loved by my actions. The early mornings and late nights working on projects, and or just sitting there when my house is a mess watching tv or playing cards with them one on one.

    So if I pop them a $20 for giving me an A once in awhile or mopping my kitchen floor that never gets done. It’s okay.

    Because my children know that $20 was something important in my budget not out of my abundance.

    We cannot reward mediocricity, I agree.

    But sometimes we can reward just because.

    • November 12, 2009 8:50 am

      the Bible is full of rewards to the believer, so rewards in them self are not bad. and like Heidi, my kids also know that reward in the form of money is a sacrifice for me. i guess the motive behind the rewards are the issue…there are also times they best dang do what they are told, and they know that.

    • November 12, 2009 10:58 am

      wow Heidi, your story is amazing to me. I love it. Really.

  8. November 12, 2009 11:39 am

    I liked the way my parents handled it… we did for each other because we were family. We walked fields of beans for dad every summer and never got paid. But when I went out on the weekend or needed new cleats for track, he gave me the money I needed. We simply took care of each other, not for what we did but because of who we were. There was never a “what’s in it for me” feeling, but I never wondered if I would be taken care of either.

    Entitlement is one of the big things that really gets under my skin.

  9. November 12, 2009 5:10 pm

    Tip at fast food places? Really???

    I missed that memo…

    • Heidi permalink
      November 12, 2009 5:22 pm

      Really!!! and grocery stores in Cali!!

  10. November 12, 2009 5:16 pm

    My chilens are still too tiny to be “there”, but I am so grateful for the wisdom of others who have kids that are “there”. Yall make me think! Thanks for a great post, and I so appreciate the community you foster here.

  11. November 18, 2009 8:47 am

    Cynical? I dunno.

    There certainly is reason to lament a “What’s in it for me” mentality. Yet on the flip side, God is definitively a God of rewards, appreciation, thanks, encouragement, and well-dones. What is His motive? What’s the difference? I think humanity (the sin-driven side, of course) seriously lacks a healthy understanding of noticing and rewarding (commenting at least!) the good that others do. Four fingers pointing at me, of course. I’m working on learning this. If we did this in a way that really imitated our heavenly Father, I know it would drastically reduce the amount of ‘bribing’ so many people think is necessary. I guess … it’s a difference between using selfishness as a means of control, and encouraging fruitfulness out of love. I opt for the latter.

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