By Jodie Lynn
Our children's school has adopted a new policy this semester of holding a reward party only for the straight-A students. Some of my friends like it while others think this excludes the kids who are B and C students, of whom some have learning disabilities, and thus makes everyone feel bad. Neither one of my middle school children have made it, but I think it makes them strive to be better. What do other parents think? Is it negative or positive and should it be kept in place?
ANSWER FROM READER:
The policy shouldn't cover B and C students and they should feel left out. We can't keep giving everyone an award or reward them if they do not earn it. It's kind of like everyone on a sports team getting a trophy. Some parents think it's fine and others frown upon it. Also, I've seen and taught kids with learning disabilities who made straight As, so that's not a valid concern. - C.T. in Cincinnati, OH
Straight-A students should be allowed the party. It's really not anything negative. However, there will always be someone dissatisfied with something in school, and life in general, due to the fact that invariably, someone somewhere will be left out. It's good and the right thing to do to give individuals credit where credit is due. I've heard from many parents that it certainly encourages their own kids to try harder. As far as those with learning disabilities are concerned, as you may know, there are many categories and many forms of learning disabilities. In a proper educational situation, these students' assignments and classes are tailored to how they learn, so it should be no problem for them to also make straight As. If you have a group of parents who are qualified and desire to help with a reward program for these kids, maybe have the parents put together a proposal and approach the teachers and then the principal with an award plan. While it would be doable, it's still a large undertaking and plenty of responsibility, but it could be organized into a similar program if it was approved. For your own kids, it's good that the straight-A reward system encourages them, as well as many other students, along with inspiring the ones that are currently doing well to feel good about their hard work and effort.
CAN YOU HELP?
We are going to visit some relatives over spring break. Our children don't really care for these particular ones. As far as that goes, neither do I. However, I do try to get along with them, but it is difficult. How's the best way to get along with relatives that you really don't care for?
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