Parents may often wonder what could motivate their children to do better in school or around the home. Many parents turn to a reward system and use money as the main reward. There are a lot of discussions that talk about whether or not money should be used as a motivator. Some parents use money as a tool and believe it works. Those who are against using money as a motivator argue that it does not work and only teaches kids to work for things that are materialistic. So does money work as a motivator and is it a successful tool?
There seems to be a lot of debate surrounding motivation and money with kids. Some say that if you pay someone to be motivated, you are telling that person that is it acceptable to do something only for money and not for their own personal benefit. Those who believe that money works say that because adults work for money and to make a living that it should be taught at an early age to work hard for pay. Most kids are interested in money and when a parent pays them money as a motivator it can encourage a child to learn about the value of a dollar and how to manage the money they earn.
Since every person is motivated by something different, money may not work for every child. Some people have motivation from within or intrinsically. These people do not often need rewards or encouragement to keep them motivated to complete or finish a task. They have the mind set to succeed. Others are extrinsically motivated, or need outside forces to keep them interested in completing a chore or tasks. These are the people that need a lot of encouragement, rewards or praise in order to stay motivated to complete a task. Kids are no different and money may or may not work for all children.
Using money to motivate children can work if the parent chooses to do it as a lesson. You can teach your children about saving, giving and spending. Parents can also give money to their children and teach them about banking and saving their money. Before you decide to use money to get your child to make good grades or to keep their room clean, think about a system and stick to it each and every time. Maybe think about giving a weekly allowance or taking away money for lower than expected grades. In addition, money is a great motivator when that is taken away as a punishment for not doing what is expected of them
In addition, using money as a motivator helps kids build up self-esteem when they can look and see the progress that they have made. Money is a great learning lesson and parents that use that as a reward can combine it with lessons that kids can use for a lifetime.
Those who feel that money should not be used as a motivator say that children should not be taught to work for materialistic things and that they should be taught to be motivated from within. They believe that parents should teach their children to feel successful without money and that money cannot teach them to be proud of their accomplishments. Parents who feel that money should not be used to motivate children also believe that children should learn to what their values are without money. They should learn that money does not define worth and that things like caring, giving and their work ethic are more important than what they can earn. Parents that feel that money should not be used as a motivator may use other reward techniques. These techniques might include praise, encouragement and other forms of reward such as hanging a good paper on the wall, taking the child to dinner, or even taking the child to the movie.
While no one can say what will or will not work for your child, it is best that a parent understand what makes his or her child motivated. Money can work, but it can also motivate children to do things for the wrong reasons. Using money to motivate your child might best be used in addition with teaching your child about the rewards of being motivated by intrinsic reasons, such as pride
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