Too often I see situations where a child comes to school with all kinds of new and expensive clothes that his or her parent buys them. The child brags about it and flaunts the "wealth." Amazingly, this child has the latest phones, video games and wears shoes and sneakers that cost $160 and higher. The same child is failing most of his/her classes and is still being rewarded by the parent.
As a parent, take some time to identify what makes you feel guilty. What are the things that your child says to you that tug at your guilt? Do they talk about the fact that you work too much? Do they mention that you "drove their father/mother away? Whatever it is, address it once and for all by admitting what you see you may have done wrong or what you see that you have no control over. You do, however, have control over whether or not you continue to reward bad performance. Stop the cycle. If you give a lot for low performance, bad grades, then one day you will have to give your child a whole car, just because he finally received a "C."
Talk to some very experienced parents and ask them what worked for them when they raised their child. You can't bribe your child into becoming a responsible student. You have to give him a realistic incentive and let him know that if the criteria is not met, then the reward will not be given. If he/she values the reward, then, he/she will do what it takes to get it. But if they get the reward even if they do poorly, then they will not learn how to be responsible and work toward something meaningful.
Address the guilt. Don't let your child manipulate you. You are the parent. You want to think ahead and act based on what is right, not on the emotions or perspective of a child.
A little about Mario Depeine, Sr.
As an educator I get the opportunity to get a small glimpse of how our society is shaping up. Children come into the classroom with all types of perspectives. A lot of the perspectives are a result of their environment. Some of those perspectives reflect the home life or lack of. Some reflect the street life and some just reflect the media that the children are exposed to.
Middle School children are just starting out in life. You see how their characters and personalities are shaping up. Many can be molded or adjusted easily others are a lot more resistant to change depending on their circumstance.
I work in an urban district. While there I see many interesting and at times disheartening things. Hopefully my experiences as an educator can shed some light on what we can do to better prepare our children for the future.