It seems that in every economic strata, children have a tendency to resist associating rewards to performance and effort and choices. If I had a dollar for every time one of our kids tell myself or another leader “that’s not fair” I would be a rich man. One child answers a question and receives a reward..”that is not fair.” One child asks properly “may I sit in the front seat of the van” and is rewarded for proper use of English…”that’s not fair.” The boys who attend regularly and earn enough points for being a PRO(participation, respect, and obedience) are rewarded with a special event like swimming at the Y, or Laser Tag evening. The girls say..”why do the boys get to do everything, that’s not fair.”
One SAYM focus or as we say, aspiration, is to instill the value of excellence in effort. We desire that the children and students learn that there is always a blessing or reward for good choices and excellent effort, whether that blessing is tangible like a swim party at the Y, or whether the blessing is the warm and fuzzy feeling that we get when we know we have made the right choice and given our best effort.
18 elementary school girls were treated to a swim party at the YMCA. They had a blast in the pool for 1 1/2 hours and then ate pizza, chips, and cookies. Dinner was followed by time in the gym and getting their nails painted. The girls felt special and knew that this reward was for their efforts and good choices.
Of course, the boys in their neighborhoods said practically in unison….”that’s not fair.”