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I think this is our fault for offering an incentive....... I feel so bad

(9 Posts)
looneymum Fri 14-Sep-07 18:49:08

My DD1 is 5 and has just started in year one. She mentioned they had an "incentive" scheme whereby they get a stamp in a book for good behaviour, work etc. In reception it was a star system and she probably got three stars in the whole year. Anyway, straight away she got a stamp for being brave when falling down in the playground. Me and DH decided she would get £1 for each stamp she got. I know, probably far too generous but as I say, she didn't get many stars previously so we thought it may be a good incentive. By the end of the next day she said she had 3 stamps for helping someone in the playground, good work and being polite. Be the end of the week she said she had got 8 stamps for various good deeds/work. DH works away in the week so when he returned I was full of how great she had been, I had told friends, playground mums, grandmas etc. DH said he would take her tomorrow to by a special treat for being such a big girl. However, this evening, over tea, we were chatting about all her great behaviour and it sort of came out that she perhaps may have been telling fibs. I was adamant with DH that she was telling the truth but pursued it saying it wasn't nice to tell mummy fibs. It all came out, with tears that she had got one stamp all week. I told her this was fine but that I was really sad that she had told such a tale all week.

So, I feel such a rubbish mother. I cannot believe she has told such an elaborate tale at age 5, all for a £1. She gets plenty of stuff and treats and we do things together and I feel hurt that she has fibed (which I know is bizarre in itself!). Any words of wisdom?

RubyRioja Fri 14-Sep-07 18:52:39

I would not think it is too serious - she has learned to work a system. Damned useful i say.

Why not just cuddle up and tell her you are proud of her when she does nice things and that she does so many of them, that stars are not so important any more and plan a treat for the weekend.

I also think tall tales are standard at 5!

RubyRioja Fri 14-Sep-07 18:53:42

Also she may well feel that she has done good work, been polite etc and so deserves these stars. She may feel a little unappreciated grin

looneymum Fri 14-Sep-07 19:46:56

Thanks Ruby. She has snuggled up to me tonight on the sofa which is unusual as she wears glasses and is normally glued 2 inches from the TV. DH has put her to bed as he hasn't seen her all week but I will get some quiet time with her over the weekend to reassure her she is great without stamps to prove it. Thanks again.

oregonianabroad Fri 14-Sep-07 19:51:38

For what it's worth, children are starting to develop a sense of morality at this age, so she is just testing out what's right and wrong. Most kids of this age will lie even knowing they will be caught out, whereas just a year or so ago, they wouldn't have. In a way, you can see it as a sign your tot is developing a sense of self, and you should congratulate yourself on confronting the problem and teaching her it is not ok to tell lies (of course, she'll learn later that that's the biggest lie of all!)

HopingThisIsJustAStageBut Fri 14-Sep-07 20:53:20

Perfectly normal for her age I'd say. My DS does similar and it has been worrying me. I was pointed to a link the other day (which unfortunately I no longer have) which said that at this age they sometimes fabricate stories and tell things how they would like them to be, rather than how they are.

gess Fri 14-Sep-07 20:55:01

PMSL- she is going to do well in life (seriously). I can imagine ds2 trying this one.

SenoraPostrophe Fri 14-Sep-07 20:57:12

I think it's normal too.

But I have to say <SANCTIMONY ALERT> that i think it's a really bad idea to try to reinforce nominal/intrinsic rewards with material rewards. she likes getting the stamp anyway doesn't she? why the cash?

3andnomore Fri 14-Sep-07 21:14:26

That is why incentive charts are so crap, isn't it? They don't really work for many people...of course I realise they are also working for many...BUT..........

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