Stars27 Sep 2004
I think I have discovered a reason for the poor showing of Germany in recent international studies of education systems.
We're trying to encourage Christopher to, ah, keep his bed dry at night, with only partial success thus far. Last week I had the idea to reward him with a gold star on his calendar for every successful night. Christopher thought it was a wonderful idea (especially after Mama said he could redeem 3 stars for a present).
However, none of the stationery shops I checked in Hamburg carried gold star stickers. They had plain white square stickers, or colored dots, but no stars. How can a child feel rewarded at school, at church, or wherever without being able to earn gold stars for attendance, good homework, or whatever? Where is the motivation to succeed? Is the only motivation to avoid mistakes, to avoid red marks? Is there no positive reinforcement?
While I couldn't find any star stickers, I did find multi-colored star-shaped confetti. We have to supply our own glue, but it's working quite nicely. We've haven't had a damp night since we started awarding stars, and Mama already has to redeem her first present.