Why Should You Reward Your Children?
The truth is, rewarding children can be a good thing, but there is a fine balance to be drawn between helpful rewards and destroying intrinsic motivation.
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The idea of rewarding children is perhaps a controversial one. Some parents do it all the time without thinking because it has become a habit, and others never do it at all because they worry it will make the child spoiled and ungrateful.
The truth is, rewarding children can be a good thing, but there is a fine balance to be drawn between the two different situations mentioned above. If you can get that right, rewarding children can be rewarding for parents too. Read on to find out more.
Reward To Encourage Positive Behavior
When you reward good behavior, you will subconsciously and overtly remind children that this is the behavior you need them to try for as much of the time as possible. Children learn quickly and ensuring they know the difference between right and wrong is crucial.
Some parents don’t like this idea; they think it seems akin to bribing the child to be good, and there is some truth in that. If the reward system is not explained, then it is more like a bribe. This is why the child needs to be fully aware of what the reward is for and why, so they know to replicate that behavior in the future.
On top of this, if you can use the reward to establish new habits or hobbies, it can be even more positive not just now but in the future too. For example, offering to buy a dirt bike could lead to an excellent hobby (source: kidslovewhat.com), and you can use this to your advantage.
Reward To Develop Positive Habits
The more you reward positive behavior, the more a good routine will develop, and the children will start to behave in a good way without even being aware of it. They will have developed a habit of politeness, patience, kindness, and so on. If you need to make an important phone call to a client or a doctor, for example, and you need your child to be quiet while you do it, they can learn this behavior and a positive habit. If you want them to make their bed when they get up or put their clean clothes away, again, this can be a positive habit. If you want them to think of others before themselves, again, this will, over time, become a habit. There are dozens of different examples.
The majority of the qualities an adult has in later life are learned when they are children. If you want your child to grow up to be a positive, good person, rewarding them for this behavior will play a big part. Children need to know they are doing something good so that they continue to do it and the habit is formed for the rest of their lives.
Reward To Create A Positive Atmosphere
No one wants to live in a place with a hostile, heavy, upsetting atmosphere. If you do, your behavior will naturally become negative too. This is just the same for children as it is for adults. Therefore, rewarding good behavior and brightening the atmosphere to a much more positive one will have an overall good result.
A home filled with positive reinforcement and an enjoyable, comfortable atmosphere is much more conducive to good behavior anyway. Add rewards to this, and the situation will only improve for everyone who lives there or visits there.
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Liz (or Dr. Mommy, as her toddler started calling her after learning what a PhD was) is the happily sleep-deprived mom of a baby boy (and professional raccoon noise impersonator), a sparkle-clad toddlernado, a teenage stepdaughter, the canine embodiments of Pinky and The Brain, and a rabbit of unusual size. During nights and naptimes, she uses her PhD in business psychology as an author, speaker, and consultant. She also serves as an executive and principal for three companies, two of which she co-founded with her very patient (and equally exhausted) husband.
My Motto: All I can control is how hard I work.
Motto: All I can control is how hard I work.
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