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Why should I reward my children for doing what I expect them to do?

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Why should I reward my children for doing what I expect them to do?

There's good reason for us to reward kids for meeting expectations. What we want to have is contrast in their life. If we just have negative consequences, it's not going to be as powerful as if we can have the rewards. A lot of times when kids get in trouble, this is kind of the line in-between good and bad. If they're meeting expectations, they're over here and it's good. If they're not, they're right on the other side and it's bad. So that's just like, things are going okay, or maybe they get yelled at, or there's a little negative consequence. What we want to do is really get some contrast in this, so that it really motivates them to want to behave the way that we want them to. By having the negative consequences and good, consistent negative consequences, it moves the negative over a little bit.

But we want to also have those rewards because then, it moves the positives over here. So now, we have this big contrast between when they're meeting expectations and when they're not, which is going to really motivate them to want to be over here where things are good. Because if not, now they're going to fall all the way over here where things aren't good. Whereas before, it's just right here, "Oh, I'm more likely to take a risk if the consequence isn't quite so bad. If I'm only falling from here over to here, let's give a shot. Maybe I won't get caught." But if I'm going to fall from here over to here, I'm definitely going to think twice about that before I put myself at risk from going to very good to not so good. That's why we really like to add those rewards just for meeting expectations because it just adds that extra incentive, and it shows how much we appreciate that they are meeting expectations, and it's just the best way to modify behavior. By having it come in from the positive end and the negative end gets that contrast, and that really motivates kids to behave the way we want them to.

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