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Rewarding Bad Behavior
Posted by Trevor Roberts on Dec 27, 2012 - 7:21:14 PM

UNITED STATES—Why does it appear in America that we like to reward bad behavior?  I just cannot grasp that concept. When someone does something bad we tend to indulge that behavior instead of forcing the other party to realize that when you’re in the wrong you cannot be rewarded for it.  This argument may be intended for children, teens and young adults to be particular, but even some Hollywood elite can fall into the category.

I recall on countless occasions growing up, that rewards came a dime a dozen.  I was a straight-A student and worked extremely hard to maintain those grades, yet the biggest reward I got was a good job.  However, my younger brother was constantly rewarded for bad behavior and bad grades.  If he gets a D, he gets McDonald’s; I mean he only brought his grade up by one letter.  Some may say I’m a bit jealous, and its not an issue of jealously, its a rule about principle. 

A children's behavior reward chart.

Think of it like watching movies.  In the end, the hero is always triumphant over the villain.  The villain has to be defeated; we’re sending the message that when you do bad things, you have to be banished or punished for it.  When we see pictures where the villain is victorious it leaves an empty feeling in our stomachs.  It’s not something we want to celebrate.  When I graduated from college (which I paid for all on my own tussling two jobs and commuting weekly) I got cash.  The one thing I really wanted was a car, but it didn’t happen.  My little brother on the other-hand barely escapes high school and gets a car.  What? 


The bad thing about the entire situation is he continues to be as ungrateful and disrespectful as ever, maybe parents are just pushovers, who knows, but children see more and more of this on television.  Bad behavior is always rewarded in some fashion.  We as a culture seem to idolize it because someone gets away doing something that we would never get the opportunity to do.


If something becomes sensationalized in the media enough we all get the impression that it’s okay to do.  Think about Lindsay Lohan, she has had so many run-ins with the law and has yet to be punished for it. However, it looks like with her probation being revoked she may due some time in a jail cell. I’d like to see more people rewarded for good behavior versus seeing a bevy of people rewarded for misdeeds.  What message are we sending to children if they are constantly exposed to bad manners or habits being praised in the media or everyday life?  It’s okay to be bad, but guess what its not!


Cliffside Malibu




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