Using incentives to encourage good behaviour can be a useful tool in your parenting toolbox.
Rewards can be used to help your child learn new habits and motivate them to achieve certain goals. It is believed that children begin to understand the concept of reward around the age of three, however, every child develops differently so use a system that is appropriate for them. When using a reward strategy, there are some important concepts that can help make it a success. Here are our top 5 tips and suggestions for children of all ages.
5 steps to using rewards effectively…
1. Set goals
The first step in rewarding good behaviour is identifying what negative patterns you would like to reduce and what positive behaviours you would like to motivate. For example, if you are having issues getting your child to go to bed, you can identify the negative pattern as getting in and out of bed and the positive behaviour as going to bed with no fuss and settling down quietly.
2. Be realistic
Whatever behaviour you are hoping to reinforce, ensure that your child has a good chance of accomplishing their goal. Understand that it may take small steps to reach success. If your child feels like they have a good chance of earning the reward they are much more likely to put the work into achieving it.
3. Pick appropriate rewards
Incentives don’t have to be over the top or expensive. An extra 10 minutes play before bed or an extra episode of their favourite TV programme can be a treat. Larger rewards could be something like a new toy or trip to the cinema, etc. Ensure that rewards are fairly immediate, especially for younger children. If you have older kids, you may be able to work with them towards longer term rewards.
4. Track progress
A progress chart can visually track your children’s goals and achievements. Whenever they are rewarded for good behaviour, add a sticker or draw a picture to remind them of their
accomplishments. Ensure that you are not rewarding just any good behaviour but are setting targets for continued good behaviour. For example, if your child gets ready for school on time, offer them a star on their chart, however, if they are punctual all week and receive 5 stars, reward them with a special weekend treat.
5. Support your child
Support and encourage your child to reach their goals. If you are focusing on getting them to complete their homework on time, help them to plan a specific time to sit down and study. For every piece handed in on time don’t forget to take the opportunity to praise and reward them.
If you are struggling to tackle bad behaviour, Katherine Elizabeth is here to support you and your family.
With years of experience, she can work with you to identify the root of the problem and offer straightforward advice that works for both you and your child.
To get in touch for a chat, please get in touch by calling 01625 909209 or emailing [email protected].