(NNPA)—Dear Gwendolyn: My 14-year-old son, like a lot of children, finds school boring, which caused his grades to drop. A month ago, I made a promise to my son that every good grade he brings home, I will give him five dollars. Within one month’s time, he has already collected $25 from me. I’m proud of his accomplishments and I see the pride that has built up in him. However, my boyfriend is upset with me because of the way I am going about getting him to improve. Although, I believe in my heart there is nothing wrong with awarding a child. Gwendolyn, please let me know your thoughts.—A Confused Mother
Dear Confused Mother: First of all, let me say that you’re not confused. You are only a concerned mother, and I truly congratulate you for taking an interest in your child. Because your son is 14 and not 4, I believe you are on the right track. When children are very young, they can easily think that being awarded for something will forever be a way of their life—to later discover that theory to be untrue. Your boyfriend may not understand, so don’t upset yourself with his thoughts. There is something I want you to do: Take your son to dinner at an upscale restaurant. Since the beginning of daycare centers, which allows both parents to work, children have gotten the short end of the stick. I mean—not enough quality time with mom and dad.
While you are dining with your son, let him know the money you are giving could become depleted. Too many knowledgeable boys and girls stop their education and are forced to work at pennies on the dollar for life. While dining show him a copy of job salaries. After he views pay differentials for school dropouts compared to careers of higher learning, he will know that his “greatest” award will be to achieve an education. Think about it. That award can only be given to him—from him.
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