Question re: kids getting Honours in school

Discussion in 'Community Board' started by suejai, Jun 26, 2009.

  1. suejai

    suejai DIS Veteran

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    DS was telling me that his friend gets grounded if he doesn't come home with Honours and that there are quite a few kids in his class with the same consequences. DS has gotten Honours every year, except Gr5, and we have never used punishment as an incentive to do well. If his marks look like they are slipping we talk about it and he pulls them up, but he is the driving force behind it.

    I guess my question is, do you think that punishment/consequences work as an inducement to doing well in school.

    As a side note, I don't think that getting Honours is the only way to suceed in school, people have different capabilities and to pressure with unrealistic expectations just leads to problems. My only expectation is that they do the best they can and put in the best effort they can.
     
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  3. JessicaR

    JessicaR <font color=blue>DIS Veteran<br><font color=green>

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    I believe punishment is ineffective. I don't think punishment teaches a child to do better next time. Rules come with punishments, not rewards. My children respond to positive reinforcement and working toward a reward for their best effort. So far, so good. :)
     
  4. Disney  Doll

    Disney Doll DIS Security Matron

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    Well, it might work as far as getting the kid to work hard to get honors so they don't get punished, but it will certainly not instill a lifelong love of learning. So, there will be a short term (honors in school) but not a long-term (lifelong love of learning) gain.

    My parents always said that we should just do our best. If we got a bad grade (which were very few, since we both were always pretty good in school, although Math & I were not the best of friends!), they would ask "Do you think you did the best you could? You studied, you applied yourself? If you can say to me that you did your best, then the grade is fine". I tended to be a much harsher critic of myself than my parents ever were.
     
  5. onelilspark

    onelilspark DIS Veteran

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    I remember my parents giving incentives for grades and then a "bonus" if I made honor roll. My junior year I took an AP class and I really struggled with it, getting my first C. :eek: I was horrified and terrified they'd be disappointed in me. They weren't because they knew how hard I'd worked. I didn't get my bonus ;) But they didn't punish me for not making honor roll.
     
  6. saratogadreamin09

    saratogadreamin09 Derek Jeter =

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    My parents get mad if I get below 90's. I get grounded if I get below a 90 for a quarter avervage.

    It has defientley made me apply myself more in school and helps me to keep my grades up
     
  7. DisneyLover83

    DisneyLover83 DIS Veteran

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    In high school my siblings and I were paid for our grades. A set amount for an A, lower amount for a B, nothing for a C and minus amounts for a D or F. My parents told us that school was our "job" and this was a great reward system for us. None of us ever did poorly. Every child is different though and that would not work for all kids. There was no direct punishment for lower grades, just "Do better in the future."
     
  8. saratogadreamin09

    saratogadreamin09 Derek Jeter =

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    I really like that idea. :)
     
  9. RachelNinja

    RachelNinja Sometimes I'd rather live in VMK than in real life

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    I would understand being disappointed in a child not getting honors, but I believe punishment is too severe.

    Of course, it depends on the child. My younger brother does not care about school at all. Punishing him for bad grades is understandable (I wish my parents kept to their word and had him suffer the consequences), but not in a bad way. It would be the removal of a luxury item (TV, Wii, PSP). It's not going to hurt him not to have those things. It's because we all know he could definitely do better than he is doing. Maybe he won't be a 100 student, but he could definitely be upper 80s and low 90s. His mentality is, "At least I passed."

    However, as a teacher, I have also seen how detrimental it can be for parents to put such pressure on students. I have parents take away cell phone privileges (but come on now, what 6th grader needs an iPhone?). But I had this one student for the past 2 years who would suffer from anxiety because his parents expected so much more from him. He was probably an upper 80s student, but they expected high 90s from him. He would get a grade back, and he'd speak to me and earnestly ask, "Is an 85 good? Do you think it's a good grade?" And I have to explain to him that it is a good grade.

    This kid put everything into his work. I know he studied thoroughly. I know he does all his projects once I assign them so he can spend all the time he has working on them. But he stressed about low grades because he doesn't want to show his parents.

    With a kid like that, I think parents need to commend him for his effort (and good grades!) instead of EXPECTING him to get higher grades. Encourage, yes. Don't expect and then punish when they don't meet your expectations.
     
  10. jrmasm

    jrmasm <font color=blue>Last time I checked, it was still

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    I don't know what you mean by Honours but I would punish my children for bad grades if I knew they were due to a bad attitude. Don't care about school? Fine, but there will be severe consequences.

    And we pay for staight A's.
     
  11. ZephyrHawk

    ZephyrHawk Confirmed Disneyphile

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    I was not rewarded for being on the honor roll. It was just something expected of me, like making my bed every morning. I do not know if I would have been punished were I ever not on it, but I'm sure my punishment would have been my parents expressing their displeasure at my failure. They did occasionally berate me if I was getting a B in something and state that I'd never get into the college of my choice that way, but it was a rare event.

    I remember complaining to them once or twice about other kids I knew who got paid for good grades. They said, "Why would we pay you for doing what you're supposed to?"
     
  12. gina2000

    gina2000 anonymous

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    If a child has truly tried his/her hardest and does not come up to snuff, no punishment. If a child goofs off, then I'm all for consequences. A parent's role is to determine what a child's capability in a given subject and then help the child achieve.

    I am a huge believer in goals and I think if more families instilled educational goals, children would understand, accept, and strive to meet challenges in their lives.
     
  13. Camicar

    Camicar DIS Veteran

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    I can tell you that I would have been grounded if I didn't come home with honors. I was under immense pressure to get 4.0 every quarter. Immense. It did not make me study harder or do better since I was luckily good in school and always did my best anyway. It made me resentful. It also sucked the joy out of everything because a straight A was not good enough, it had to be an A+. I still remember very clearly my joy at getting the first 4.0 a very tough history teacher had ever given in all his years of teaching and being crushed by my mother's sole comment, "Too bad you didn't get an A+ in math" while throwing away my report card with my history teacher's glowing remarks.


    My dd has a friend who is in a similar position as my teenager years. Poor girl is a total basket case. Whenever she does not get a 4.0, she has a panic attack at school. THEN, her mother comes to the school and browbeats the teachers into giving her a 4.0. Sadly, the mother always prevails. What horrible lessons this mother is teaching her dd.

    With my own dd, I have always said that all I want is for her to try her best. As I learned from my own experience, you simply CANNOT do better than your best, so stop setting up unrealistic expectations that do nothing more than suck the joy out of life.
     
  14. onelilspark

    onelilspark DIS Veteran

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    For what it's worth, in my HS we had a huge problem with cheating. I never did. I know some of the kids who did cheat did it because there was so much pressure on them from their parents. They just simply couldn't come home with poor grades. Now, there's 20 other things wrong with that situation, but I think good parents know their kids. I posted above that I didn't get punished for bad grades, but my brother did. Because his bad grades were a result of not turning in homework. He did it, my parents knew he did it, he would just fail to turn it in. (Don't ask.) So he got in trouble for it. When you have kids who do try hard and study and it's just a difficult subject for them, I think it's a parent's responsibility to encourage hard work, not punish because you fall short of your goal. Added pressure isn't good for a kid.
     
  15. RachelNinja

    RachelNinja Sometimes I'd rather live in VMK than in real life

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    I completely understand this situation. If I got a 98, I'd hear from my dad, "Where are the other 2 points?" Then if I got a 100, my dad would say, "There wasn't any extra credit?"

    When I came home THRILLED that I was the salutatorian of my high school after a tough few months battling it out with the top 5 students or so (haha, in terms of maintaining our grades) during the last few months of the year, my dad said, "How come you couldn't be valedictorian?" I knew I wasn't going to be val; that girl was a genius. So really everyone was aiming to be sal ... and I still remember my dad asking me that question.

    It sets this mentality of "Everything I do will never be good enough. I will never be good enough." I know I still struggle with that nowadays because it's ingrained in my mind.

    Terrible! I know that when my fellow colleagues and I do grades, we say, "We're going to hear it from so-and-so!" because we know they won't be happy about the grades. Despite the demands to recalculate grades and write out an explanation for the grade, we stick by it. It's a shame though because the kids still know that mommy and daddy will bail them out (or at least attempt to). And in all honesty, it makes me think twice about giving a lower grade because I'll have to deal with the parent later on. However, we always remind ourselves ... teachers don't give grades, students earn them.

    One girl this past year wrote info on her hand. I confronted her about it, but she claimed it was during studying that she did that. She was obviously lying about it so I had to report it to the principal. We sat her down for a meeting and asked her about it. The principal was very nice about it (this was a sweet girl in the 6th grade) and urged her to tell the truth, that that was what was most important (I'm in a Christian school).

    She finally broke down crying that she had indeed cheated because she was tired of getting poor grades. Other students would shout out their high grades, ask about hers, or even sneak a peek at her test to see what she got. She was tired of dealing with those things. She didn't want the other students to keep thinking she wasn't smart. We commended her for telling the truth. She apologized to me for cheating, and that was it.

    It's terrible to think about how kids have pressure from their parents AND their peers at school too. I know it's kind of OT, but even as a teacher, I think I sometimes do forget what it's like to be a kid. It's at this time that kids need the most encouragement from parents and teachers.
     
  16. Camicar

    Camicar DIS Veteran

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    Me too. At age 47, I still struggle occasionally with feelings of inadequacy because no matter what I've accomplished, deep down inside I "know" it's not good enough. Because nothing ever was good enough. I know intellectually that I've done my best, but emotionally I'm sometimes still that kid trying to win her parents' approval. It's like Sisyphus.

    That's why I get so mad at the mom of my dd's friend. I KNOW what she's setting her kid up for in life and I know this kid is less able to handle it than I was/am. I am very afraid that sooner or later this kid is going to have a breakdown or just tune out entirely.
     
  17. georgina

    georgina I dream of Mousey with the big black ears<br><font

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    For my family, I do not use punishment for poor grades. Oldest always got straight A's and had good time management skills. Next child doesn't work nearly as hard and gets A's and a few B's. He is just not as motivated to get all A's, but does take honors classes. I want him to do his best and encourage him to work hard, but don't push for all A's. Youngest is bright and motivated, but puts too much stress on herself and is not as good at time management as the oldest. I am concerned about her as she heads to high school. I do not pay for grades.

    When oldest went to college, I had to remind her that getting some B's is OK. There is a lot more to school than grades.
     
  18. LisaNJ25

    LisaNJ25 DIS Veteran<br><font color=aqua>I paid $300 back i

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    Absolutely not. I expect them to do their best. We also pay for grades. I tried to bribe my now 16yo with a cruise one year if he make the honor roll and not even that worked lol.. but this was before I had 4 kids.

    Like someone said.. there is a lot more to life than grades. My 9yo has a friend with straight a's with no conman sense, even her mom jokes about it. She has another one who cries if she gets a b on a test. At some point she is going to crack. It is not healthy.
     
  19. suejai

    suejai DIS Veteran

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    This is exactly how I look at it as well.

    However, it is funny how the kids perceive things. My oldest DSS, now 21, lived with us for a time and always had issues with school and doing his work. I guess I thought he had greater potential than he thought he did - he had given up and "accepted that he was just stupid", his words not mine :headache: Lets just say we had several discussions on this topic. What I saw as trying to help him do better, and not just do the bare minimum to keep the teacher (and me) off his back, he saw as me expecting him to get straight A's. Sadly, he ended up taking a few wrong turns and quitting school ( there were many more issues than just school), but is now working at turning himself around and has actually become a responsible citizen with a steady job, a fiance and a house.

    So I think parents need to be careful with their expectations and ensure that the kids understand just what the expectations really are, lest they put their own spin on them.
     
  20. Becky2005

    Becky2005 <font color=darkorchid>I actually thought they mad

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    Nope and I don't ever give punishments for bad grades.

    I talk to them and tell them to do better but it's their grades, not mine.

    My parents were never strict on grades either....my dad would occassionally decide we had a good enough report card to give us some money. It was random, we never knew if that A was going to get us $5 or not! :P

    However, my grade I worked really hard for & was actually *THRILLED* I didn't plum out flunk the class was Geometry. At the time, it wasn't required to graduate but I wanted to take Alegbra II which required it. My final grade was a D in the class. My dad made one little comment about it since I was an A/B student but I told him I worked HARD for that D and was thrilled it wasn't an F. Algebra II was *much* better ;)

    I just tell the kids to do their best. So far, the kids that get grades have managed to get the Honor Roll more often than not. My older son managed to get Straight A's 3rd semester so ended up on High Honor Roll.
     

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