Posted by: Jane | 2009/02/04

Encouragement or bribery

Hi CS and everybody else.

Would like your views on this please.

Should a child, *(8 year old boy) who is good in sports be offered money/treats for coming 1st, 2nd or 3rd???

My sister and I have totally different opinions here and both of us think we are right.

Your opinion please.

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Our expert says:
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No. Were it my own family, definitely not. Bribery is not a great idea, and implies the kid is not excelling for the joy of doing well. Some kids justy have no hope of excelling in sport, however hard they work at it --- they should not be given the impression ( which some parents do give, even if not deliberately ) that sporting excellence is more important than good academic work or being an all-round good kid, kind to others, hard-working, etc. The schools and sports teams already make more than enough fuss of the successful sportsmen. Again, I recall attenting a 40 years on celebration at my old school, and was struck by how sad were many of the former sporting gods, and how few of them have had a seccessful or happy life since then --- it can give the sporting talent unrealistic expectations of how successful they will be in life

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Our users say:
Posted by: friend | 2009/02/05

I am now 39 years old, and I still remember an incident when I was in grade one. I took part in the 75m race and my dad told me that if I win, he will buy me a huge tub of ice cream. Although I am very athletic, sprinting was never my thing and I actually came last in the race. Until today, I think about that, and Iremember how I felt that I dissapointed my dad for not winning, and not being good enough to make him proud. This has actually followed me through out my life, always trying to make my dad proud in whatever I do. And he wasn' t one of those parents that pruesurised his kids to always be the best. It' s just how I interpreted his comment as a six year old child! I now have 3 little boys and that is one thing I NEVER do to them. I will support them but always make an effort to not do or say anything that they will interpret as expectations. Donr ever let your kids think you measure their selfworth by their achievements!

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Posted by: Toni | 2009/02/04

I dont see much harm here as long as a line is drawn. My daughter participated in a gala just the other day and her dad told her that if she came first then she could get a new nintendo game. I honestly dont think its a bad thing, it gives them something to work towards and it an incentive so to speak. Just like us as adults if we work hard and reach our targets at work we get " bonuses"  . dont stress too much, besides kids love it!!!!

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