11.19.2006

Face it, bribery works, people!

I'm going to take off my "future psychologist" hat for a moment here and get down to to the brass tacks on child behavior control. I realize that bribery is frowned upon. I understand that the overuse of tangible objects as motivators differentiates vastly from positive reinforcement, and can in fact decrease intrinsic motivation over time. I GET it; however, I have to hand it to Natalie's kindergarten class. They have presented what is perhaps the most well-dressed, effective form of bribery I've ever seen, and you know what? My kid is the fucking champion.

The class currency is the "Kelso Note." Kelso is a gecko, apparently moonlighting as a kindergarten class mascot in between Geico commercials. The children receive a Kelso Note (or what we at home have come to refer to as a "Suck-Up Buck") on every day that they don't have to "turn a card."

"Turning a card" means that a child has gone up a level in the Kinder Terror Alert Advisory System, which is represented by a color chart.

A green card indicates that the child made "good choices." Meaning they picked up their toys, didn't piss themselves, and didn't set the teacher's hair on fire. It also is representative of the color of the lusted-after Suck-Up Buck. Eyes on the prize, children. Eyes on the prize!

If a child makes a bad choice, he or she is sent to their place on the color chart to exchange their green cards for a yellow one. Yellow is the color of cowardice, kids. Don't go there. Aim higher or don't aim at all!

Now, if the child's aspirations for evil are a smidge higher, they can opt for purple. The color of a dinosaur we will not ever, EVER mention here on MoaG. In fact, I encourage any child that if they really must be naughty, they should go all out and up the obnoxious ante to get as far away as possible from that perverted purple freak.

Which leads to red, the card where all hope for a Suck-Up Buck stops. And where the child takes a trip to the principal's office.

But Natalie hasn't had to worry about that. Oh no... that kid has gotten a Kelso Note every day since the first day, and she has invested them in the Kindergarten stock market otherwise known as The Treasure Chest, where one gets to pick out a prize after collecting 10 Suck Up Bucks. She doesn't cash in regularly, however. She hoards the little green slips in her backpack until she has about thirty of them, and then she comes home with not one, but two or three rewards for her ass-kissing.

She understands the system and she uses it to her advantage. She knows what she has to do to get the money and raid the toy chest. She's like a miniature, ruthless, psychopathic business tycoon in bloom. She's everything that her mommy ever wanted to be.

DAMN that makes me proud!

8 comments:

  1. Woooo!!! Go Natalie!!

    We always knew she was destined for greatness.

    And look how long her hair is! OMG!

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  2. Ahhh, a post I can handle before eight am...

    So prepare yourself for the time when a garbage taken out will require a gecko from your purse.

    A washed pile of dishes two geckos...

    Be proud now, the poor house beckons.

    Start impressing it upon Natalie how important it is for a wealthy daughter to take care of her destitute mother...

    If you are gonna train her early, make the most of your infirmary before it arrives...

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  3. Kristen- I know! Brushing it is an absolute nightmare. The child needs a date with a pair of scissors and a trained stylist.

    Matt- That's what you think. Before you know it, Ryno will be spending his allowance on Barbie clothes and Polly Pockets... she's THAT good.

    Scott- Geckos are better than Jeffersons, at least. The fact that you could handle this post before 8am is concerning me. Like maybe I didn't try hard enough... ;)

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  4. They go all out in her class! Hutton's class has a stamp chart, where they get stamps for the basics of bringing in their notebooks and homework from their backpacks. Ten stamps = treasure box. Hutton actually got a nice slinky the other day, but most of the prizes are quite lame, and end up in my Good Will box soon after they appear. Good sucking up, kids!

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  5. You Americans! Such capitalists! In Molly's school they like to hand out certificates at assemblies or pull names from the hat so kids can choose a prize. This happened to Molly twice. The thing is the kids don't know this will happen until it does. Sneaky, eh? They have to be good all the time, because there is always a chance . . .

    Clara

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  6. As a former teacher all I can say is bribery is a beautiful thing. My daughter has a dentist appointment tomorrow and I plan on bribing her shamlessly.

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  7. Sixth graders are particularly adept at working for rewards. I provide them with stale Hallowe'en candy in exchange for cigarettes they've stolen from their parents. I barter sugar highs for free smokes. (But they get an insight into economics and the marketplace. And you can't put a price tag on that kind of education.)

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