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Clarissa's Blog

An academic's opinions on feminism, politics, literature, philosophy, teaching, academia, and a lot more.

Behavior Chart

From FB:

I used a behavior chart for my daughter when she was younger. I would write whatever behaviors we were working on on our big chalkboard in their playroom. Example: saying please & thank you, washing her hands after pottying, using words instead of whining, etc. She would get a check mark for the day or a check mark each time she did something correctly. To start with, she’d get a check mark each time I noticed the behavior. As the weeks went on, I would give them more sparingly. If she earned “10” check marks in a week then she could pick a small prize, trip to the park, ice cream, or whatever item you like.

It makes me physically ill to read this kind of thing. And this is from a local FB group, so then this kid is released into the general population right around here.

The analyst says that in ten years or so, when people understand what the ubiquitousness and the obsessive use of smartphones are doing to children, they will dramatically reduce their use. I’d love to believe that but when I see these FB discussions, I simply can’t.

I seriously can’t even reread this quote without getting very nauseous. And nobody did anything like this to me. It’s just that simply knowing that this is being done to a toddler is painful.

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18 thoughts on “Behavior Chart

  1. I am really shocked by how strictly regimented many kids’ lives are. I recently dropped off my kid at a friend’s place, and the house is bare and cold as a castle, everything and everyone is immaculate. The boy spends a lot of time on math drills. His parents scare me.

    There are all these mommy blogs that show extreme control issues, endless planning of every aspect of life and extreme irritation when something doesn’t go as planned.

    I sometimes worry I am raising underachievers, because we don’t force our kids to do anything. They all seem happy and socially well adjusted, but I don’t know that any of them will win the Nobel prize or whatever. A part of me is bothered by how relaxed my kids are about everything (I’m very ambitious and high strung), but I don’t think you can make the kids into anything they’re not without seriously damaging them. And the main job of parents is to love them and not break them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree completely with what you are saying. Childhood is the time to have fun and enjoy life. And the more your kids have of that, the more they will achieve. I know very well that I could be doing a lot more with myself if I had more psychological energy and were less traumatized.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Well, for my mother that meant we couldn’t profundizar in anything. If there was something you really enjoyed you couldn’t just go for it because that would be work. You had to keep sampling, even things you had no interest in, because that was how to have fun and enjoy life. In college, this was supposed to continue — you were supposed to take as many 101 courses in as many departments as possible, and make Bs and Cs. The compromise I came up with was that I was allowed to major in something, take advanced courses in something, and get As, so long as it was in arts and humanities, which were still considered fun and relaxing as opposed to other fields that were work.

        My mother, of course, was reacting against her own upbringing in which she was encouraged to be too serious and too practical too soon.

        Last night at a social event my fortune was told and it was that I was holding back in life, and should stop trying to fulfill other peoples’ dreams.

        Like

    • Shakti on said:

      There are all these mommy blogs that show extreme control issues, endless planning of every aspect of life and extreme irritation when something doesn’t go as planned.

      A part of me is bothered by how relaxed my kids are about everything (I’m very ambitious and high strung), but I don’t think you can make the kids into anything they’re not without seriously damaging them. And the main job of parents is to love them and not break them.

      I shudder when I think of all these very educated women trailing their H1-B visa husbands who do not work. Too many are up in their kids every waking moment trying to control them like there is no tomorrow because that’s how they express their competitiveness.

      You are ambitious and high strung but you use that for yourself so you’re not trying to channel that through your children.

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      • “You are ambitious and high strung but you use that for yourself so you’re not trying to channel that through your children.”

        • Exactly. That’s the most important thing: a child is a different person. Trying to turn her into a mirror of the self is very damaging.

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  2. Shakti on said:

    I used a behavior chart for my daughter when she was younger. I would write whatever behaviors we were working on on our big chalkboard in their playroom. Example: saying please & thank you, washing her hands after pottying, using words instead of whining, etc. She would get a check mark for the day or a check mark each time she did something correctly. To start with, she’d get a check mark each time I noticed the behavior. As the weeks went on, I would give them more sparingly. If she earned “10” check marks in a week then she could pick a small prize, trip to the park, ice cream, or whatever item you like.

    Skinner ism at it’s finest! This isn’t the kind of thing you should be bribing small children to do. Washing your hands, saying please and thank you is not unpleasant enough to require a bribe. Do they even have the capacity for this delayed gratification? I thought kids that young enjoyed imitating their patents and caregivers.

    The analyst says that in ten years or so, when people understand what the ubiquitousness and the obsessive use of smartphones are doing to children, they will dramatically reduce their use.

    I made a decision early in life that I didn’t want a career that required me to answer the phone in the toilet, and I feel quite foolish now that so many people do this.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Spiderbaby on said:

    Sorry, I know you don’t like british humour, but this scene just fits the topic 😛

    Like

  4. Reminds me a lot of the “citizenship award” they would give a class when I was in junior high (now referred to as “middle school”) which was based on a “1 to 10” score the home room would receive based on the behavior and conduct of the whole class within a three-month period, with the reward for the winning home room being a “citizenship party”, wherein the kids would bring their records to listen to and cake and ice cream was served for that one day.
    Total social engineering psyop, now that I have time to look back on it and think about it.

    Like

  5. raddledoldtart on said:

    As a parent of 5, this rubbish repulses me (also – who on earth has that much time on their hands to even do it – go do something fun (or at least useful!) instead?!) and I dislike intensely that these reward chart things get forced on parents by nurseries, schools and government funded parenting classes in the UK. Worse still are the food related ones, obsessing over exactly what a child eats – just leading to eating disorders in the future 😦

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  6. Until I actually became a father, I couldn’t really imagine what parenting style I would try to use. I admit that I even thought ‘moderately strict is the way to go’ to avoid some of the ‘issues’ I have seen in friends’ kids.

    Now I am a dad, I have a very clear idea: I want my daughter to have a life as full of fun, happiness and love as possible. I don’t want her worrying about things. I don’t want her to have homework or tasks or stress. This is the most important thing in the world for me now, and I’m determined to make it happen for her, and to make that last for as long as possible, which starts to really affect things like choice of school, etc. This quote sums up everything I don’t want for her.


    https://polldaddy.com/js/rating/rating.js

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    • I’m with you, man. Homework stinks. I believe there should be no homework at all until the age of 12 but I know it’s not realistic to look for that. Unfortunately.

      I’m very happy for your daughter.

      Like

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