October 12, 2018 2:26 am

Dear Sticker…

Dear Sticker,

I am SO sorry! When you were first created we never had any idea that there’d be SO MUCH PRESSURE on you to be SO MANY THINGS!

A Decoration:
Your shininess was supposed to add a little flair to cards or posters, but WOW have times changed!

A Bribe:
I’ve heard you are the ultimate motivator! Apparently, even the most challenging of kids will drop everything and be totally compliant, just to obtain your glittery goodness. Stickers can get you to do ANYTHING! What are we working for? STICKERS! And if I get enough STICKERS? Then I get a REWARD! But who needs a reward? Look at all the glimmering greatness that has entered my life now that I’ve been OBEDIENT! I need to meet expectations more often, not because I want to or it’s the right thing to do, but because of #stickers.

An Anesthetic:
Get a shot? Get a sticker! Cavity filled? Get a sticker!
Your shiny happiness HEALS ALL PAIN!

A Prize:
Get an A? Get a sticker! Do a chore? Get a sticker! Have a good day? GET A STICKER! Why would anyone ever want to do well because it FEELS GOOD when you can work for a STICKER?!?!

Cure for cancer? #1 Dancer?
Finished your work? Wasn’t a jerk?
Gotta good grade? Wasn’t afraid?
Shared your Jello? Clipped up from yellow?
Made a good choice? Used inside voice?
“Good no hitting”? Did “good sitting”?
Did everything we want you to do?
Like a dog gets a treat, here’s a sticker for you.

So sticker, I’m sorry. It’s unfortunate that you’re being used for so many things. I know, you feel stuck. I get it. See, adults have a hard time understanding that kids always want to do well. When a kid does well, or tries their best, the adults feel that their empathy and support is not enough, even though it’s more than enough. So, instead of relying on the warmth of our heartfelt support, we feel need to give them something tangible to drive our point home…and we’re mistaken. Sticker, you’re not a problem-solver. A sticker has never solved a single problem. Hopefully, one day the adults will realize that their connection with a child is more valuable than any sticker. But for now, your sensational stickiness will continue to unsuccessfully make lasting changes in behavior.



Greg Santucci, MS, OTR

Occupational Therapist

Executive Director

Power Play Pediatric Therapy


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