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Parents, children and rewards

Part 3

This episode's vocabulary


  • Recognition (noun) - if you are given recognition, people show admiration and respect for your achievements.
  • Encouragement (noun) - words or behaviour that give someone confidence to do something.
  • Nonverbal (adj.) - not using words, or not relating to the use of words.
  • Treat (noun) - a special and enjoyable occasion or experience.
  • Short-sighted (adj.) - not thinking enough about how an action will affect the future.
  • Long-lasting (adj.) - continuing for a long period of time.
  • Praise (noun) - things that you say that express your admiration and approval of someone or something.
  • Self-esteem (noun) - belief and confidence in your own ability and value.
  • Approach (noun) - a way of considering or doing something.
  • To pass out (phrasal verb) - to distribute something to others.
  • Willy-nilly (adverb) - if something happens willy-nilly, it happens even if the people who are involved do not want it to happen.
  • Possession (noun) - something that you own or that you are carrying with you at a particular time.
  • Ill-gotten (adj.) - dishonestly obtained.
  • Mean (noun) - a method or way of doing something.

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Questions and Answers


M: Rory, give me some roar. Can you roar, Rory? 

R: Meow.

M: Is this roaring? No, roar. Who usually roars?

R: It's close to a roar as we're getting. Come on. Let's do this.

M: Lions usually roar. Right? Right. Okay, okay. All right, right. Right. So exam questions. Okay. Rory, should parents reward their children when they help others?

R: I don't see why not. It's not like this knowledge of helping others exists in a vacuum, right? Children observe people doing good things and getting something out of it, even if it is just recognition. So why can't it work that way? It doesn't have to be something physical. It could just be encouragement and noticing, like I said.

M: And what kind of encouragement? 

R: Well, that's an interesting question. Because usually people hear the word encouragement, and they think it needs to be spoken like well done, you did that, you should do it more. But it could just be something nonverbal like a thumbs up, or even a smile or happy expression. So there's all kinds of encouragement that children get. It doesn't have to just be this spoken word, as it were.

M: Are sweets good to reward children?

R: Well, in general, probably not, though, it would be a nice treat to have on the odd occasion, I think it would be just lazy and short-sighted to do that all the time, though. There are so many other ways to go about that might be longer-lasting, like building towards something larger, for example, or connecting praise to self-esteem. So I don't think like physical things like sweets are the best approach. But every now and then will be fine.

M: What rewards do children want to get? 

R: Well, despite everything I just said, they probably want sweets or something physical like money as a reward for just about anything, though this is because they're so young, and their sense and understanding of motivation is a lot less developed. It's good, they're almost forced to appreciate the finer things in life in terms of reward. So even though they might not like it, parents might give them something else, even though they want something more physical.

M: You've mentioned money. So would money be a good reward for children?

R: I don't know. Assuming they were also being taught how to use money responsibly, then, yes. However, just passing out money willy-nilly is probably not such a great idea for parents or for children, because it has negative consequences for both. The parents lose money from their bank accounts and gets wasted and the children waste the money on ridiculous things if they haven't been taught how to use it properly.

M: How can parents reward their children?

R: Well, I think I already mentioned recognition, but maybe more long term things to work towards could include things like stickers and stars to show small amounts of progress toward a wider goal. They're also experiences like going to the cinema or giving them the choice of meal. I think that helps develop an awareness of what's possible in terms of reward or actions in general.

M: Is it good or bad that people feel proud of their possessions?

R: I imagine that depends on how they got them, and how and why they're expressing the pride. If it's after hard work to draw attention to what's possible and inspire others, then why not, it seems like a good idea. But if it's showing off about having ill-gotten goods, then I'd be less impressed, to be honest. I think most people would.

M: Do you think that some people feel guilty when they feel proud of their possessions?

R: Well, people feel guilty for all kinds of reasons. But again, it's um, it's a bit like the whole being proud of their possessions thing. It's got to be for the right reasons. I mean, if you've gotten your things through inappropriate means, then yeah, you probably should feel ashamed. But if you worked hard for something, then I don't see why you should feel ashamed of it.

M: What do people usually feel proud about?

R: Well, we've just spent a whole lot of time they're talking about possessions that they got well, and also people feel proud of their children, which we also spent a lot of time talking about. I think those are the main things. Maybe achievements over time, and I don't just mean like building something or having something that it could be having helped hundreds of people, for example, that's a non-physical achievement, probably. And so you could feel proud of that.

M: Rory, thank you so much for your answers. How should I reward you? Hmm, I think I'm gonna, it's gonna be verbal reward this time. Well done, Rory!

R: Thank you!

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Discussion


M: So what a topic, dear listener. What a topic. Feeling proud, rewards. So first of all this word, reward. Right? So a reward and to reward somebody, right?

R: Yes.

M: So a reward means something given in exchange for good behaviour or good work. So for example, a reward for something, right? Children get a reward for something, right? Or to be rewarded, rewarded, to give someone else a reward. Yeah, so we, I rewarded Rory, for all his hard super work. In this context, we talk about rewarding children. So should parents reward their children? Yes, they should. And then how do parents? So Rory, you said, it doesn't have to be something physical? It could be encouragement or noticing. So encouragement? What did you mean by encouragement?

R: Well, I think I mentioned not verbal and nonverbal. So that's the funny thing. You could do this for almost every answer, you could just divide it up into physical and non-physical, and then verbal and nonverbal and just give your ideas based on that. So if you think about the category and then move down both avenues one at a time, then it's quite good, because you can expand on your answer.

M: Yeah. So physical encouragement or physical rewards, presence, money, sweets, gadgets, so anything parents usually buy and non-verbal, so non-physical, right. So non-physical, if something is spoken, when parents use kind words, they say something nice, but without any present without giving anything physical to a child. Yeah. So spoken or non-verbal encouragement, and also noticing. So it's nice that you said that when parents notice certain things like oh, you drew a star on your notebook. Like, for example, oh, you helped your friend with his homework, so well done. So parents notice this behaviour, and they praise their child for doing a certain thing. Sweets, sweets, biscuits, chocolates.

R: Candy.

M: Oh, yeah, Candy. Candy is American?

R: Yeah, but you might get an American IELTS examiner.

M: Candy or cookies could be used to reward children. And you said that it might be a nice treat on the odd occasion.

R: Yes. So treat is another way of saying reward. It's usually used to talk about food. And on the odd occasion just means every now and then. So it's not something that happens regularly. It's odd. So it's like it's uneven.

M: Yeah, now and then. So yes, like sweets, could be great rewards, or rewards, we paraphrase rewards. So sweets are a great treat on the odd occasion. So now and then. And then you go like, I think it would be lazy and short-sighted to do it all the time. So it would be short-sighted to do it all the time.

R: Yes. So if something is short-sighted, then it means that you only benefit in the short term, but in the long term, you wouldn't. So for example, if you're only ever giving the same rewards, then that might have consequences in the long term for discipline.

M: Then we talked about rewards children want to get and you can say children do want to get rewarded. And you said physical rewards like money, or getting money as a reward. So to get sweets or money as a reward.

R: Yes.

M: And then you mentioned like appreciate the finer things in life. So we should teach children to appreciate the finer things in life.

R: Yeah, so the finer things are just, well, things other than what's obvious. So sweets are not very refined. But the finer things in life could be like preserving motivation to achieve a long term goal. How you feel at the end of that it's one of the finer things in life, or it could be helping other people, the feeling you get from that. So there's lots of things. It's usually used to talk about luxuries, but I don't see why it can't be used to talk about rewards for things as well.

M: Yeah, and parents can reward their children just showing their love, their support, you know, instead of criticizing, and pointing out their mistakes. Like parents can go like, okay, well done, just focusing on the positive things. So this could be a reward, just praising showing their love. Then we talked about money for a bit, and you said, like, use money responsibly. So if we give money to children, we should teach them how to use money responsibly.

R: Yes. But using money responsibly just means not spending it wastefully.

M: Like what buying shoes.

R: Like buying shoes did you say?

M: Yeah, yeah, like buying shoes. 1000s of shoes.

R: All the shoes.

M: All the shows in the world. Yeah. And then you said like, pass out* money willy-nilly. That's a nice one.

R: Yes. Oh, well pass out money or give out money willy-nilly, do something willy-nilly just means recklessly without control. So any action plus willy-nilly just means that.

M: Yeah, if something happens willy-nilly, it happens. even if the people who are involved do not want it to happen.

R: There is no control.

M: So don't give money to your children willy-nilly. How can parents reward their children? And Rory said like, okay, I think I've already mentioned recognition. So recognition could be a reward.

R: You can say that though, referring back to past answers.

M: Yeah, I've already mentioned blah, but also blah. Then we talked about possessions. First of all, what is a possession?

R: It's something that belongs to you.

M: Yeah, it could be a car, a house, shoes. It could be your gadgets. So anything you own is your possession, but not people. Okay? So these are usually objects, possessions. Then people can feel proud of their possessions, okay? So people feel proud of their possessions of their things. And you said that they are expressing pride, so people express pride. Yeah?

R: Well, they don't express their pride. They just express pride in something.

M: Hmm. So express pride in...

R: Something.

M: It's interesting. Like the examiner asks you, do people feel proud of their possessions and you paraphrase it, saying people can express pride in their possessions. But it's not really cool when people show off their ill-gotten goods.

R: Yes, show off is a phrasal verb meaning to show that you're proud of something. And if you like phrasal verbs, you'll love our phrasal verbs podcast. However, I won't do the advertising because we need to talk about the word ill-gotten. So if something is ill-gotten, it just means that you did something wrong or morally wrong.

M: Ill.

R: Something morally ill, something dubious.

M: Dubious or fishy. Fishy, dodgy. Illegal. Yeah. So people can usually feel proud of their children, of their possessions, of their non-physical achievements. So could you give us an example of a non-physical achievement?

R: Well, I said helping others and making sure they're successful. However, another non-physical achievement could be passing your course at university.

M: Yeah, but it's something physical because you have a certificate, you have a degree, right? Maybe just helping others like talking to them, listening to them, showing support, inspiring other people, you know, something non-physical. And when people say thank you, or people are grateful to you for something that you've told them, or you just listened to them. I think this is non-physical.

R: They express gratitude.

M: They express gratitude. Yeah.

R: I love a bit of gratitude.

M: I'm so grateful to you. For all the books you've written which I haven't read. How many books have you written?

R: You don't need to read them. Nobody needs to read them. I did it for myself, I didn't do it for anybody else.

M: I really liked your picture on Instagram, you and your books. That's nice. Did you feel that there's this sense of achievement holding your books that you've written?

R: Yeah. It's nice.

M: Cool. So this is like something physical. And this is something that Rory feels proud of. Yeah? Do you feel?

R: Yeah. Well, why shouldn't I? I worked hard.

M: Oh yeah, absolutely. Yeah. Yeah, but dear listener, make sure that in speaking part three, you don't talk about yourself. You talk about other people. Well, usually people feel proud of the books they've written. For example, Rory. Yeah, or of the children, of the real estate, islands, yachts, planets people buy. Lovely, on such a high note, as buying your own planet. What would you call your planet if you bought one, Rory?

R: I don't think I want. I don't know what I would even do with my own planet. I would call it Scotland freedom.

M: Awesome.

R: And all the Scottish people could live there and be free.

M: Yeah, dear listener, so when we have as much money from this podcast, to afford a personal star, or to buy a star, we would call it Scotland freedom. Yep, definitely. Thank you very much for listening! Bye!

R: Bye!

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