so, children are meant to "learn for the joy of learning"?
are you on drugs? are they good drugs? they sound good..
oh, or are the children you speak of on drugs? that would explain a lot. A couple of grand a year for Ritalin, instead of a couple of tens or hundreds in incentives makes a LOT of sense.
I had no motivation in school. I did ok at the classes I liked, failed the ones I didn't. I ended out dropping out 18 months before graduation.
I got myself into college out of a motivation to never have another menial job. I got into medicine out of desire to no never again work as an engineer (and, hey, it seemed like a good idea at the time).
I now have 5 tertiary qualifications and am a medical doctor. If I have any say in the matter, I'll never leave university (getting PAID to LEARN!!! HELL YEAH!!!)
If you had told me this 15 years ago, I would probably have either tried to stab you in the throat or said "that sounds like a good future.. I hate it here".
Children are the ultimate pragmatists. they also have the most profound sense of "fairness".
they get bullied at school, punished by teachers who are burned-out, their parents work 70 hour weeks, they never seen their parents and said parents never seem to care unless they screw-up. You expect them to LIKE it? to work without tangible goals? you want them to suffer through all of this with NO rewards? in all honesty, WHAT IS IN IT FOR THEM? the only time they get attention is if they are bad and ignored if they are good.
You are essentially punishing and imprisoning them WITH NO COMPENSATION! let them draw the parallels between reading books/behaving/going to school and getting the money for a new bike or computer game, HELL.. YOU SHOULD ENCOURAGE IT!!! Then drop the bombshell on them: "This has just been a game. If you do the same thing as an adult, you could be a DOCTOR, or an ASTRONAUT, or EARN AND BUY ANYTHING YOU WANT!!"
Think of it like this: they draw the line between effort and reward. They do work and get money.. just MAYBE they will get the idea that working hard = one day owning two mercedes and a mansion..
If you went back and had to endure what your kids do every day, you WOULD kill someone. YOU ARE NOT AS TOUGH OR RESILIENT AS YOUR KIDS, you simply don't comprehend the stressors that keep them in a perpetual state of panic. Yet you expect them to do it "because they must", nay.. "because they must WANT to"... wow, you must have some AWESOME drugs...
Parents want to "invest in their future", but have no interest past throwing money ("time" is too precious to give to a kid). The time:money exchange rate has been getting worse. Now they're getting choosy about what happens to the money... WTF..
Suggest that parents should not beat their kid, should spend more time with them, PRETEND to take an interest, play sport with them rather than dump them in-front of the TV... I've been yelled at to "stop trying to tell me how to raise my kid" and "I can't do that, I'm too busy", like a first-time parent (or even a 10th-time parent) is some kind of expert... just because you successfully put Rod P in Slot V without using a gasket doesn't make you an expert, it does not give you some kind of intrinsic knowledge.. it makes you a learner like the rest of us.
Emotional intuition does NOT trump years of experience, success and failure. Emotional intuition does NOT trump scientific rigour and quantified results. Just because you feel "it is a profound truth, I feel it deep in my soul" does not make you RIGHT, it makes you IGNORANT AND BLIND when someone challenges your preconceptions. Maybe that scientist/teacher/nurse/doctor/shrink/cop/judge/prison-warden/cell-mate-butch-who-thinks-you-have-a-purty-mouth DOES know better "how to raise your damn kid"
An emotional investment simply gives you another avenue to try and best help your kids through the trauma that is 12 years of unrewarding, institutionalising, hard labour.
Two final remarks:
1. If you reward them if they are good and punish them when they are bad, you do not teach them to be good. You merely teach them to be pragmatic. HOWEVER, training them in personal integrity and intellectual discipline will give them the tools and the ability to CHOSE to continue this behaviour. The rewards/payments/"bribes"/whatever might stop, but they will no longer be satisfied with a half-ass job or sloppy results. Just ~maybe~ you will give them a taste for success.
Isn't this how almost every other aspect of parenting is applied today? hell, how almost all of SOCIETY is constructed?
2. It is easier to use a stick to enforce conformity for a day, than to motivate for a week, than to inspire for a month.
Belt your kid around every time they get less than a C on their final yearly report, give them $1 for every hour of effective study or every sheet of maths problems they complete, or spend 2 hours every night plus a day every weekend to help them with their school work while coaching and inspiring them to learn and succeed. YOUR CALL, you decided that your time is too valuable to entrust to a child.
In the end, you will only get the child you deserve.