Want your child to excel in school? Then it's time to stop thinking you can motivate him or her with cold hard cash.
Amy McCready, a parenting expert and founder of Positive Parenting Solutions, recently told TODAY that while rewarding kids with money for good grades is a popular parenting strategy, it's one that will eventually backfire.
"More than 40 years of research suggests that external rewards dampen internal/intrinsic motivation," she said. In other words, students are less likely to discover their love of English, for instance, if their only goal is to get a good test score and make a few bucks.
The practice has also been proven to harm creativity. In an article about privately funded programs that tried to boost kids' test scores by offering them cash, the National Education Association cites a well-known Stanford University study:
Researchers divided preschoolers into two groups: one that would get gold stars for their drawings and one that would not. Both drew enthusiastically, but when asked to draw again-without a reward-the gold-star group cut its drawing time in half. It appeared as if they'd lost enthusiasm for the task when it didn't come with a reward.
It's also important to realize, Amy notes, that paying for grades will only serve to feed into a child's sense of entitlement, explaining that he or she will start having a "what's in for me?" mentality. Ultimately, the goal is to have your child understand that basic responsibilities like paying attention and applying oneself are things they should be doing in the first place, not something they should be rewarded for.
For tips on how to help your child perform better in school-without bribes!-head over toTODAY for Amy's four-step plan.
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