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Not to reward my dd for her accomplishments?

(100 Posts)
Jinsei Sat 12-Jan-13 19:20:02

DD is lucky, and does very well at lots of things. She has plenty of natural talent, but she works hard and listens to her teachers too. As a result, she achieves well in several different spheres. We are proud of her and she knows it.

Her latest achievement was an excellent result in a recent dance exam, and the nice lady who helps on the desk told me that "she definitely deserves a present for that." It was just a throwaway remark, but I know of many parents who do actually reward their kids with gifts or treats for work well done.

I was always brought up to believe that the reward is in the achievement itself. DD is thrilled with her results, and I don't see how a material reward or treat would increase her happiness or sense of achievement. To me, the good results are enough.

I am unlikely to change my stance on this, so perhaps not a genuine AIBU as I'm convinced that I'm not! Nevertheless, I'm curious to know if I am in a minority on this one, or if most parents would agree. So do you reward your kids for their accomplishments, or do you think that the reward is in the achievement itself.

GetWhatYouNeed Sat 12-Jan-13 20:30:41

When my children were young they were rewarded with verbal praise or if they had done well in piano/ballet exam they had a small treat eg book,cd and I always swore I would never reward good results financially. How things changed when they got to 15/16 or so and the temptations of boys/girls/parties/hanging around in the park with bottles of cheap alcohol started to distract previously very conscientious children. I did then resort to briberyfinancial rewards for GCSEs and A levels. Having talked about this with them afterwards they said that they realised themselves they wanted to be successful for its own sake but the promise of money for certain grades did give them a much needed boost when enthusiasm for revision was waning.
So people with younger children may find they change their minds about this later on.

Jinsei Sat 12-Jan-13 20:30:52

Some interesting perspectives. No siblings in our case, so the fairness thing hopefully won't be an issue. I hope that dd doesn't grow up thinking we weren't interested enough to make a fuss - we do talk about the achievements, and as I said, she definitely knows that we are proud of her. Just not convinced that an additional "reward" is necessary.

I agree that, if I did "do" rewards, I'd be more inclined to reward them for something they didn't want to do, or for something they found really hard. Also agree that a treat to celebrate is preferable to an award. But I am still of the view that doing well is sufficient reward in and of itself.

Jinsei Sat 12-Jan-13 20:37:36

So people with younger children may find they change their minds about this later on.

Fair point. I guess I'll have to see how it goes when dd is older. However, I remember friends getting cash rewards for exam results at school, whereas I never did. I don't think it made any difference to Joe hard I worked though.

Avuncular Sat 12-Jan-13 20:50:05

We had a family custom when our DCs were growing up:

If an outsider made an unsolicited good comment about one of them, they would get a bar of chocolate.

Just a thought ....

I think your DD would qualify. I still keep the principle for my DW on occasion

RiaOverTheRainbow Sat 12-Jan-13 20:54:18

I worked very hard all the way through school until sixth form. I got bloody good GCSEs and my parents barely said anything. I became depressed, missed a lot of school and screwed up my A levels. (It didn't help that my mother bragged to anyone who'd listen about my brother's achievements.) I didn't need material presents, but some form of acknowledgement that I'd worked hard and done well would have meant the world to me.

Jinsei Sat 12-Jan-13 20:57:09

Yes, I agree re the acknowledgement being important.

MummytoKatie Sat 12-Jan-13 21:08:15

I think it depends on the child and on the environment they are in.

My parents didn't believe in material rewards and me and db (3 years younger) we're both high achievers.

It didn't bother me and I cheerily went off to Cambridge with nothing more than a "Well done darling. We're very pleased."

Db, on the other hand had lots of friends who seemed to be paid for breathing. So when he got his GCSE results he finally rebelled and refused to share until the 'rents agreed a results based cash settlement. I don't know the result as I stayed out of it but I suspect they paid up.

Bit of a shame really as it should have been a lovely day (he got 9 A*s) but instead it was full of rows.

usualsuspect Sat 12-Jan-13 21:19:21

it's nice to buy your children small gifts for their achievements sometimes.I liked doing nice things for my children.

Happymum22 Sat 12-Jan-13 21:25:09

For very big ones like GCSE results and a levels I would take them out for dinner, but this would happen whatever they in the sense they put in so much effort and I know did their best.
Some of DCs friends at other schools used to get payment rewards for GCSEs and a levels so A* 100 pounds A 80 B 70 C 60 etc.. considering most took 9 GCSEs this seems ridiculous and to be rewarding results not effort. To me, them having the opportunity of a fab education and to be able to sit the exams is a priviledge.

But yes, YANBU, rewarding every little thing with a gift removes the value of the reward in itself and makes future achievements become bribed.

MrsMelons Sat 12-Jan-13 21:28:12

I would rather go out for a meal somewhere to celebrate with the DCs, we do that as a family often to celebrate things such as new jobs, exam successes. I think it is more meaningful than a gift. My family also buy cards to say well done which is really nice and shows a lot of thought.

I am not saying I wouldn't buy the DCs a small something if I felt they deserved it but would not want it to be an expectation. If they received a medal/certificate for winning something that is surely the 'present'.

I think the money for GCSEs thing is a tough one as you can't necessarily help how many A's you get. I think my parents wanted to pay for our driving lessons really so used the money for GCSEs as a cover up grin

NumericalMum Sat 12-Jan-13 21:29:03

My parents would always take us out for lunch on first day of end of year holidays for a treat for doing well in our school reports. We didn't expect it but my parents were very relaxed about study etc and we both took it on ourselves to work extremely hard to pass exams etc.

ReallyTired Sat 12-Jan-13 21:30:00

I actively disagree with rewarding achievements for the following reasons.

a) I want my children to know they are loved unconditionally. I am pleased for them when they do well, but I love them whatever their SATs results are.

b) Sometimes children experience failure inspite of working hard and doing their best. Its at those times children need to be comforted and encouraged not to give up. Prehaps its those times the children need a treat rather than when they suceed.

c) Children who are praised for working hard rather than being clever do better long term. Sometimes children who are praised for being clever give up when there is something they can't do.

MrsMelons Sat 12-Jan-13 21:39:01

ReallyTired that is a brilliant post and I wish more people were like this with their children. I get tired of the endless FB crap that people put on their status rewarding their children for anything and everything.

SamuelAndOscarsMummy Sat 12-Jan-13 21:53:00

YANBU as she is your daughter therefore it is your decision smile

I really don't know what I will do with mine yet, one is 16 months and the other isn't even born yet, it will depend on how easily they are motivated I suppose, however bad that sounds!

snailvarnish Sat 12-Jan-13 21:56:44

my ds really struggles at school, really struggles. His sister who is in the year below him has over taken him and he can see the gap between them and it upsets him that she is ahead of him even though she is younger.

He tries so hard. And so on occasions when he does well at school I do reward him. Nothing massive. Maybe something nice for pudding or a new lego figure from tesco.

I was similar to ds when I was younger and my gcse grade predictions were awful! When I got all 10 my mum went out and bought me ghd's. I didn't know I was getting them so this was a wonderful supprise and I must say it was really nice to have that recognition of the effort I had put in. Many of my friends got £50 for every A* they got and at the end of our gcse's had a nice wad of cash. (some got £500!)

Sometimes I do think rewards are ok....not £500 though.

perceptionreality Sat 12-Jan-13 21:59:19

I think overall YABU - I would tend to get a congratulations present for a big achievement - to make my dds feel appreciated really. OTOH I would not bribe my children with money for good GCSE grades.

3birthdaybunnies Sat 12-Jan-13 22:03:18

We tend to praise for academic/dance etc, but when one of them goes up a swimming level we often go to a pool with chutes, waves etc. They have both struggled with swimming and we like to reinforce that this is why they are learning, so they can go and have fun. We would be taking them swimming anyway but spend a few pounds at a different pool. I wouldn't buy a present for a dance exam, as pleased as I am when they pass.

Theas18 Sat 12-Jan-13 22:13:09

Another parent of able/high achievers. They get loads of praise etc for success of course, but otherwise effort is rewarded eg they code where we went out got much after the 11 plus exam (the exam not the result day) and the reward for gcse wansnt results day, it was a few days away after exams were over-real special one to one time with me .real memory building lovely stuff.

Grandma sends sweets or similar for something to celebrate which is lovely too.

Budgiegirlbob Sat 12-Jan-13 22:15:51

The only time we have given any kind of reward was after each of our sons sat their 11+ exams. We went out for a meal at a restaurant of their choice, but we went straight out after they sat the exam, long before we knew the results, because we wanted it to be a reward for all the effort they put in, rather than the actual result.

Theas18 Sat 12-Jan-13 22:22:33

I absolutely agree with the "praising success" leading to lack if resilience long term-you are going to fail to get the out come you want at some point even if you work need to be able to dust off and carry on.

Theas18 Sat 12-Jan-13 22:23:00

Budgie snap!

CailinDana Sat 12-Jan-13 22:28:40

Snailvarnish - I'm sure you're doing this already, but just be aware that your DD doesn't feel like her brother gets rewards for not doing well (which is what it might look like in her eyes) while she gets nothing for doing well. My parents were so keen to protect the feelings of my older, less able sister that I lost out big time and even though she didn't actually get much in the way of rewards it really bugged me when they would point out that she got 78% in something when they didn't even mention when I got 100% in something else. I totally get the desire to encourage a child who is struggling, but every child needs recognition whether they're struggling or not.

How many people would feel ok if their boss/colleagues at work showed no recognition whatsoever for any of their achievements?

CailinDana Sat 12-Jan-13 22:31:11

I agree that parents should avoid focusing entirely on success and praise effort and persistence, but sometimes with very able children there seems to be an assumption that their success takes no effort - it's just expected. I certainly put massive effort in, too much in fact I think, and yet because my efforts almost always paid off it was as if I had done nothing.

Still, my parents are not a good example to work from anyway. They were shite.

racingheart Sat 12-Jan-13 22:31:45

I think habitually offering rewards as carrots isn't going to do DC any good in the long run, but to surprise them with a reward is lovely. I just told Dc I'd get them some things they're saving up for (not expensive0 because they've worked hard for exams without fuss. they were over the moon and couldn't believe it. If I'd offered them in the first place they'd have tried to raise the bar by now beyond £15 worth of tat collectable models from Ebay.

sameoldlovebunny Sat 12-Jan-13 22:31:47

she shouldn't do well in order to get treats, but there's no harm in treating a much loved daughter, no matter what the excuse.

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