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What are some good rewards I can use to praise my children's positive behaviors?

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What are some good rewards I can use to praise my children's positive behaviors?

There are a lot of different kinds of good rewards. First of all, it has to be something that the child finds rewarding because if they don't find it as rewarding it's not going to do any good. So, it has to be something that they really enjoy and they want to work for. It has to be, first of all, something that they want and they want to have that is very reinforcing to them and that's the biggest piece of it.

After that it's really kind of what really works best with the family. I sometimes recommend staying away from food too much, but at the same time sometimes that works really, really well. Going out to get ice cream as a reward for some good behaviors, doing chores or something like that, I think it's great. So it is really whatever resources they have, they can go wherever with that. Money is fine, but I don't think it needs to be necessarily money or going out and buying something.

What I always ideally like is if it's more of a privilege. So give rewards based off of them meeting expectations pretty much. So they're meeting expectations doing what they need to behaviorally all around, so we are going to be giving them rewards. So since they're meeting expectations and being responsible, in a way, I like to give them more privileges and a lot of times that involves extra freedoms. Some examples of this are extra video game time and being able to stay up a little bit later. Things that kids really do like and want, but they are privileges, not necessarily spending money going out buying them stuff and giving them things all the time. That’s something that any family can give to a kid. You don't have to have tons of spare money lying around or be able to afford that nice big toy. We really want attention, privileges, access to things like that that parents can definitely give their children.

The important part to remember is that rewards only work if they are items or activities that the kids truly enjoy, but also that those things need to be limited, off the bat. If they have complete access to video games and TV time, then it’s hard to use any of that stuff as a reward because they already have unlimited access and there is no difference.

That's why I always say to limit those kinds of fun things.  If you limit it and then they have a chance to earn extra time by good behaviors, those rewards are usually really powerful for kids.

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