This is the age of using positive means to bring up your child. You reward them for the behaviours you want to see. Both at school and at home. At school, kids are given stickers and certificates and other forms of ‘rewards’ for effort, improvement, good behaviour, helping out etc. etc. Yes, consequences are still part of the system but rewards have more importance.
However, I was recently wondering — have we taken this whole positive spin a bit too far?
Hear me out…
I heard some months ago about how children’s sports were trying to be positive and not disappoint kids and therefore not having any winners. Or giving everyone in all teams a trophy. Or just not keeping score. Here’s an article that mentions some of this.
Another area where positivity has gone nuts is in students’ reports here in Australia. Apparently, teachers are not allowed to write anything negative. Resulting in no comments about bad behaviour. Or comments such as “learning to count” rather than having difficulty with numbers or numerical operations. Don’t parents have a right to know where the child is struggling? Isn’t it the right thing to do to highlight a child’s negative behaviour so something can be done about it at home too?
And with the sports, aren’t we teaching kids to be a bit competitive? After all, upon growing up, we don’t win every single thing. People get fired from their jobs. One person can lose a business deal to another. There are winners and losers in elite sports. You can fail a subject at university. You can not get a promotion if you don’t try your best. You may lose out on a promotion to another worker.
So if children are now taught that there is no such thing as losing out on something or failing something, how are they going to cope with situations like these as an adult?
Shouldn’t we be teaching them how to deal with losses as well? How to cope effectively? How to get back up after falling down or hitting a speed bump on the way?
I guess these were all the questions that popped up in my head when I heard about how far we have gone with this whole positivity thing. I mean, I am all for rewarding positive behaviours with attention and praise and ignoring minor irritating behaviours and giving consequences for unacceptable behaviours. But not keeping score for sports? Giving every child a trophy or medal? Not being able to write anything negative in a report?
What do you think? Have you heard of any of these new trends? Have we taken it too far?
Until next time,
P.S. On a different note, I think my laptop is dying…the screen goes all pink and green with lines and then it restarts itself a few times. It’s okay for a little bit and then goes funny. So in case I don’t reply to your comments or visit your blogs, that’s the reason. Unless of course, I do cave and buy a new one. Sigh.