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The Rules of Parenting, 2nd Edition by Richard Templar

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RULE 39

Carrots beat sticks

Can you remember being a kid? Go on, think back – of course you can. Now, suppose your teacher said you’d get a gold star/distinction/sweet/pick of the stationery cupboard if you did well in your next spelling test. Now suppose that instead of that, they warned you that if you did badly you’d be kept in at breaktime/given detention/banned from games (or made to do double games, depending on your natural sporting inclinations). Which one of these would make you most likely to do well?

Well, if you were anything like me, you’d have a fat chance of doing well in any spelling test. But I’d certainly have tried harder for the reward. And so would you, if you’re typical. According to modern researchers and child psychologists, ...

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