“Not every child deserves a cookie”

January 30, 2012

I believe firmly in the application of expectations and consequences.  A child should know what to expect at home, at school, even in church.  The right type of behavior will be applauded, perhaps rewarded, and the wrong type of behaviour will be punished.  “With great power comes great responsibility.”  And there is hardly a greater power or responsibility than raising kids.  If we let them know that we will ignore bad behavior, then we can expect bad behaviorIf we have high expectations we will seldom be disappointed.

That introduction may be almost as long as Chapter two of  The End of Molasses Glasses.  Not Every Child Deserves a Cookie (Chapter Two) speaks to this point clearly and distinctly.  I used my highlighter on over a third of this short chapter.  Maybe I should read something more controversial.  But I have seen this truth born out so often.

“I often bake cookies for my students….the kids who are working hard receive one with delight; the students who are not working as hard do not…I tell my students…that if they are trying hard they’ll earn their cookie.  It’s shocking to see to see how much effort kids, regardless of their age, will display to get a cookie.  And when it’s earned it means something….If parents and teachers are just rewarding our kids without cause, we aren’t teaching the value of personal effort.”*.

So much of what I believe is wrong with our country right now (Think “Occupy”) is an entitlement mentality.  The “government” doesn’t owe me anything except to provide for my safety against enemies.  I don’t deserve anything that I don’t earn.  That includes a job, an income, rewards, respect, or anything else.  When I got an “A” it was because I worked hard and earned it.  When I received a promotion (or a job) it was not because of a relative or a relationship.  The “cookies” we collect along the way taste best when we work hard for them and earn them, not when we get them because everybody gets a cookie.

We need to teach our children this truth, and teach it often.  If we do, when we get around to salvation, the one free gift of value, it will seem all the sweeter.

If you are interested in getting your own copy of this thought-provoking book, write a comment about this post, and be entered in a drawing.  Or go see the wonderful folks at Red Barn Books if you just can’t wait.

Ron L. Clark, The End of Molasses Glasses,  2011, Touchstone Books  * Page 10

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