I was reading a great article over at Urban Moms written by Erin Little entitled Raising Sophie & Fiona.
The article discusses Erin’s take on parenting with regards to discipline in particular. I found myself engrossed in self reflection after reading this article and wanted to share some of my thoughts. I realize that this can be a personal topic for discussion and I want to be clear that I do not pass any judgement on anyone’s parenting choices.
Erin’s specific belief is that rewards don’t work and that they are short term fix. She also believes that people should be intrinsically motivated. Erin makes many other points during her well written article, but those two are the ones that really got me thinking about my parenting style and beliefs.
As a former teacher myself (I taught Kindergarten), I have seen first hand what too many rewards offered for positive behvaviour can do. It can create an expectation and in turn, children end up acting in a certain way, not because they want to or think that it is best, but only because that is what the teacher expects. They can also very quickly begin to fall into the bad mentality of “what do I get if I do this” attitude. This scares me and because I have seen it happen first hand, I certainly don’t want it to happen to my children.
Here are some of my beliefs on children, their behaviour and parenting: Note: This is just my opinion, I am NOT stating this as fact or that everyone should feel this way. I am also not stating any of these points in response to Erin’s article.
- Parents are human beings.
- Parents have the right to change their minds on their parenting techniques over time.
- There can be a very fine line between rewarding behaviour and bribing.
- Sometimes we all need to take the easy way out and that is ok.
- Every child is unique and therefore may respond differently to certain parenting styles.
- What works for one child may not work for the next.
- Fair does not always mean equal.
- Natural consequences work really well.