Monday, April 19, 2010

Carrot, Not Stick

While generally I am not a huge fan of incentive programs, we have started one. Why don't I like them? Well, they smack of manipulation sensu Alfie Kohn's "Punished by Rewards". We want them to learn to take initiative for personal reasons, not just because of the "carrots".

Frankly, little T wouldn't do anything for a carrot -but, chocolate is a different story. It is a new deal. If T gets up, dressed, eats breakfast, gets in the car and buckles on his own in the morning... he receives one chocolate to eat on the way to school.

We are hoping that if he develops the habit - he will learn to do these things sans chocolate. The jury is still out on whether he will ever do this without the carrot chocolate - but, for now the kid is waiting, in the car and buckled twenty minutes before I am ready.

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