For those who have not seen this article... Thought it's a good read to share.
Psychology expert warns that the child may end up seeing a reward as the goal
Say you are a parent trying to get your son to aim for all A*s in the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE). To get him to work hard, you promise him a reward - a trip to Disneyland or the sleek, new iPad, $150 for every A*.
Sounds like a sure-win strategy, and you know others who have used it to good effect. What child can resist the promise of a big reward?
And all you want is for him to ace the PSLE and make it to a top secondary school, because he will then sail through the rest of his school days and be set for life.
Hold on just a minute, says motivational psychology expert Richard Ryan from Rochester University, New York.
That is definitely the wrong tactic if you want your child to fly solo and take responsibility for his own learning.
'If a parent were to say, 'I will give you this if you achieve all As', the child is likely to do it for that reward,' he says. 'It also means that subsequently, he will think, well, the only reason to learn is to get the reward. If I am not getting the reward that I want, I am not interested in learning.'
The negative consequences are not always immediately apparent, and this strategy puts the responsibility for learning on the parent.
'Now the parent is the one who has to monitor the child, instead of a child assimilating and really internalising the value of learning and hard work, which is really what we want to develop,' Professor Ryan says.
Parents can show they appreciate their children's effort without killing the motivation to learn.
'It would be better if a parent, after his child does well, says, 'Let's go out and celebrate, we will have a meal or something.' In my country, it's always pizza. This is not undermining, because it is acknowledging and celebrating something competently done,' he says.
'And once the reward is over, they'll do no more. You're not helping their interests grow,' he says......