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A Sticky Subject

It’s that time of year when we address the issue of stickers,

Reward systems have been around for several decades and we all know, the "sticker" has become a prized item for the end of a good day at school or a successful day at dance class. Now when I was little, you did not necessarily get rewarded for good behavior but rather we had a tally system for incorrect behavior; at least at school. But my dance teacher, Mr. Buddy Sherwood...he gave candy. Buddy stood at the door and greeted every single child as we left and commented on our behavior and performance in class that day and if you had been VERY good---he gave you a small candy! Of course the candy was a huge treat but I think more importantly it was the idea of finishing the class and having his personal one-on -one acknowledgement of my performance as a student on that day that mattered most! At CDPA we use reward stickers for a job well done in class, but most importantly we give that sticker with a personal acknowledgement of each child's participation that day! To that end I must mention that stickers are earned, not given and for the system to be truly effective, we cannot reward behavior that does not meet the expectations of the class. This sometimes means T-E-A-R-S! In the same manner that mom and dad discipline out of love, keep in mind that we are part of your child's development and our mission must be to complement those expectations that you, the schools and society have for our future generations. We never withhold a sticker without the child's knowledge of why the sticker is being withheld or without talking to the child about the outcome of that day and the expectation for the next week. Usually we ask the child to explain to the parent why the sticker was withheld in order to confirm that the child understands the expectations. We never withhold a sticker without assuring the child that they are loved and reiterating our belief in their success the next week. Tears can get to you, I know...but stick with us! It all works out for the good :) ----Dr. K

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