Dear American school systems:
Where did you get the notion that well behaved children will become of ONLY using positive reinforcement in schools? Where did you get the tenacity to label giving my child consequences “negative reinforcement?” When did you get the nerve to overide my parenting?
I have news for you… Life is full of negative reinforcement. Teaching children that only positive consequences occur is stiring the pot for the generations to come.
My son attends a school in which only positive outcomes occur. This means that when my son hits people, he will still get some form of reward throughout the day. He will also receive minimal consequence for his actions. I have also been informed that I too must comply to these rules because speaking positively about things my son doesn’t like will ultimately change his view of things.
My son is 10, and it’s safe to say that he has his own views about what and who he likes. If my positive thoughts were the divine power that could change his opinion, then he would have eaten a freaking vegetable by now!
I am take aback by these methods. I am also deeply afraid that today’s youth will grow up, and be left behind by life’s expectations. Not everyone gets a trophy in the real world, and achievements are not made by merely being well liked.
If my son hits another person as an adult, then he will go to jail. At minimum we can expect legal trouble.
I am the kind of mom that gives consequences. Don’t misunderstand: I’m not a spanking or yelling mom. I teach my son that my belongings and my stuff do not belong to him. If he acts out in public we will leave and sit in “time out.” I have thrown his stuff away because he doesn’t appreciate it, or has not put it away properly. I will take him places that I want to go, and expect him to behave.
I want him to understand that our attitudes do not decide what we achieve, but that our actions ultimately determine everything. I want him to learn that real life has real repercussions. I want him to realize that if he wants things that he needs to earn them, and once he has earned them he is responsible for the upkeep. I want him to see life as an investment, and not just effortless game in which he can receive all his heart desires just by participating.
What I want from the school system is simple: please stop rewarding my child’s bad behavior. You are teaching my child that these actions do not matter! His future is in both of our hands, and I am trusting you to share this responsibility.
If my child is being a turd, then please do not give him a cookie.