What message are we sending? Integrity or Bragging Rights
I posted this on my personal FB page and received many comments and many private messages thanking me for speaking up. I was encouraged to share this on my blog. I would love to hear your feedback.
Two weeks later I am finally getting to clear out the kids school bags to see if we keep or toss the school bags.
I witnessed plenty in the 4 years I have been volunteering at a variety of schools. Many stories from both my son and daughter.
I am having mixed emotions. Today, like many parents at the end of school year, I am making sure the kids didn’t leave anything in their school bags and I came across a handful of “brag tags” that belong to Nico. They are tags (I am sure with good intentions) that are given to students for a variety of different behaviors, actions, achievements, etc. Here was my chat with Nico:
Me: Nico why didn’t you show me the tags?
Nico: I didn’t think they were important
Me: why do you think that? And why were they buried in your bag.
Nico: why do you need a brag tag for things you do and show it off to others.
Me: are these the only brag tags you recieved?
Nico: no. But there are plenty of students who deserved them and they didn’t get them, I didn’t want to show them off, I would just stick them at the bottom of my bag. Kids also did 1 thing right and the teacher happened to see it and they got a brag tag instead of the student who did good all the time. “Name” would only do things in front of the teacher to get something but “name” would be so different when teachers were not paying attention. So to me there was no value in the tags.
Me: Nico I am so proud of you and I agree with you. Continue to do from your heart.
I know schools look for different ways to reward/encourage students with good intentions, and this is just one example I have witnessed, but unless the program is specific and consistent….it shouldn’t be done.
The same applies to us in the our professional fields correct?!?! Can you imagine a cash bonus that is give based on cumulative points and that one person happens to get points just when the boss is looking but doesn’t give a helping hand when a deadline is coming up and all hands on deck are needed. How would you feel?
We are encouraging so many different behaviors in children today that are not for the best:
** do good to receive something in return
** worry only about yourself
** work hard to recieve an award
** brag about your accomplishments
** show you are better than others
** discourage kids who have worked so hard
** encouraging entitlement
** forcing “labeling” of students
There are so many more. What happened to strive to do your best for you and help others. Do your best because YOU feel good, feel proud about it, and love yourself for what YOU have accomplished.
We all have different “motivators” and that motivation can only come from within…at an early age that can be crushed so easily.
When we were growing up there wasn’t all these “prizes”, we did well because we wanted to did well. Maybe we stop with the treasure box, brag tags and other “creative” ideas and encourage behavior that should be the “norm” and consequences for what is not acceptable. Now that’s the reward….not getting the consequences. That was always a good motivator for me!
I know in todays society a large % feel everyone gets a trophy…I personally do not agree and what I have witnessed it just encourages behavior that is not very attractive.