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4.05.2011

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I picked Kit up from his after school program and the director gave me a 'special certificate'. It was an 8x10 nicely printed color diploma looking thing with my name printed in the middle. Wow, I wondered, what have I done? I read on... Turns out it was a "Certificate of Attendance" for showing up at a 2 hour conference on school bullying that I blogged about a couple of weeks ago.

What the hell? Are they patting me on the back for showing up? How low can you set the bar? I feigned gosh and golly for a minute and thanked the Academy for their votes, and my parents, and all the bullied children of the world who made that lecture possible. I think they got the idea.

What kind of country are we living in where we need to be congratulated, rewarded, and praised for every little thing we do? I see this everywhere. Get a treat for losing weight, as though losing weight wasn't reward enough. Pay your kids to help out around the house instead of expecting them to chip in with their time. Need to be offered a gift just to buy or consider a product.

Tish attended a seminar on canine positive reinforcement behavior and all through the day whenever one of the students answered a question right or did something well the teacher tossed them a mint or a chocolate. It got so bad that some students were jealous of the candy each other was getting. These are adults who came to learn who ended up jumping like trained seals for a snickers bars.

Maybe I'm missing something here but to be rewarded for showing up to a talk about an issue that will help keep your child safe is almost contemptible. Do they imagine that I'm thinking "what a score - I think I'll go to more of these and collect the whole set for my den wall." If protecting your children from predators isn't reason enough to go (the small turnout was mostly teachers and administrators) then something is seriously wrong with the attitude of parents that might show up if there's a treat in the offing.

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