Rewarding your child: What to keep in mind
Life isn't all about disciplining your child all the time and holding back on the rewards when they are good. Find out how to reward your child with love and respect without spoiling them!
It is all too easy to think that bringing up your children has to be run with military precision with you as the general, and any discipline issues have to be dealt with a crushing fist of dominance just to keep your life on schedule!
With all the tactics deployed in the discipline department, you may find yourself overlooking the opportunity to reward your child when they voluntarily do something good.
Growing up is not easy for anyone, including kids. We have all been there and it’s tough, but have you ever taken the opportunity to reward your child for good behaviour without going over the top and having a fit of the guilties about spoiling them?
Rewarding your child with kind words
The most natural and best way of rewarding your child is by giving them encouragement, commitment and time.
Encourage them even when they do tasks such as getting their own breakfast prepared, putting on their clothes without a fuss and clearing up their toys.
Commit to them by overseeing and praising their efforts such as homework, and then rewarding them with whatever time you can give them.
Remember, children love to be praised and hearing that they’ve done something good from their parents is the best reward of all. It boosts their self-esteem and sense of responsibility.
Best of all, praising your child for a job well done doesn’t cost a cent!
More about rewarding your child on the next page…
A reward system
A reward system can work really well with children of all ages. Rewards that are selected by the child are usually the most powerful.
For younger children, consider a start chart where they get a gold star for good behaviour. Once they collect a certain number of stars for the month, you can take the reward a step further by taking them out to watch a movie or enjoy an ice-cream.
With the star chart, do remember to steer clear of black stars if your child doesn’t behave the way you want him to, as this will only affect his self-esteem.
Other great rewards for younger kids include:
– Going to the park
– Going for a picnic
– Watching a movie at home
– Having a friend over to play
– Getting a piggy-back ride from daddy
With older kids, the reward system could include things like:
– Camping in the backyard
– Selecting something special for dinner
– Making a special craft with mum or dad
– Extra computer/ TV time
The whole aim of a reward system is to nurture good choice, good attitude and the realization that rewards – material, invisible or just a simple ‘thank you’ – are aimed at helping to build their self-esteem in the future on a bigger stage.
Guard against rewarding your child for everything he does correctly. Otherwise he will quickly become confused about the real purpose of the reward system and may even play up if the rewards are not given every time.
Also remember that you are their building blocks of substance, so don’t keep raising the bar every time they do well. Getting ‘B’ grades should not necessarily get the ‘general’ in you to say, “Go for ‘A’s!”
Remember that rewards are most meaningful when accompanied with positive words and touch from parents. Also, a variety of reward possibilities will keep kids motivated for a long time.
Do you have any other tips on rewarding your child? We’d love to hear from you — do leave us a comment.