Rewarding Your Children for Good Behaviour
All too often, when kids do something wrong or misbehave in some way, parents get angry and hand down a punishment. This seems reasonable, doesn’t it? The reality is, when you react to your child’s bad behaviour, then they react to your reaction, and an ongoing cycle of negativity forms. By choosing to react in a different way, however, you could break this damaging cycle and encourage more positive behaviour in the first place. By using positive reinforcement strategies as opposed to strong discipline strategies you can begin to foster a peaceful relationship with your children and ensure a future filled with good behaviour.
Show Appreciation Daily
Deep down, all children want to please their parents, so one of the easiest and most effective ways to reward good behaviour is to simply smile and acknowledge your child when they have done something good. Smiling to your child will offer them a sense of caring and love and will give them encouragement to continue behaviour that makes you happy. Take it a step further by verbally telling them that their behaviour has made you happy or proud, and make sure to give them a big hug!
Establish a System for Rewards
Instead of focusing on your child’s bad behaviour, it’s time you start noticing the good! When establishing a system for rewards with your child, always keep in mind that children love being able to see results. Not only do clear results motivate them, but they will also be reminded of their mission and it will encourage them to partake in more good behaviour. Common ways to keep count of rewards include a marble jar, a magnet board or a stick board.
Stickers and marbles are great for motivating your child, but sweetening the deal will result in them trying even harder to behave, as opposed to just limiting the bad. Reward economy is basically a form of behaviour modification where the stickers are rewarded for appropriate behaviour and can later be cashed in for whatever prize you are offering. This approach gives your child the power over his or her own behaviour and teaches the important lessons of delayed gratification and working towards a goal.
Talk to your child and come up with an idea for a prize together. Then, based on the size of the prize, you can decide just how many stickers your child will need to get it. Rewards can be small, such as a shopping spree for children’s clothes or a movie night of their choice, or they can be large, such as getting a new toy or even something as grand as a puppy. Obviously promising a puppy is a big decision so you will want to make sure you would be willing to have one in your home, and that you can afford things like dog insurance and food before you bring the idea to the table.
Anything you do to reward positive behaviour as opposed to punishing the bad will help bring about favourable behaviour in your child. If you are going to go with a reward system of any kind, make sure you are clear about what types of behaviours will be rewarded, and be consistent about it so that it actually works!