A reward system can be a great way to motivate your kids. Read on to see how you can set up a system that works for you and your family.
As a parent, we all struggle to keep our kids motivated when it comes to the tasks of daily life. Whether it’s doing their homework or simply eating their vegetables, a little extra motivation can be an effective way to encourage good habits. That’s where reward systems for kids can work wonders! The right reward can make a big difference in your children’s attitude. But it’s important to implement it in the right way so the rewards don’t become the prime motivation for doing the right thing!
What Are the Benefits of Reward Systems?
There are a number of good things that can come out of a reward system. Some of the benefits include:
- Behavioral Improvement – Reward systems can provide added incentive for children to behave appropriately, at home or in class. If they feel that you recognize and appreciate their good behavior, they may be more likely to listen and not push the envelope.
- Improved Motivation – Whether it’s a sticker, toy, or increased privileges, a reward system can lead to more participation in household tasks. When it comes to parenting, this can mean more help around the house!
- Increased Self-Esteem – It’s certainly exciting to earn a reward on your own. So the feeling like they stand out can benefit your child. Whether it’s working hard while studying or a job well done around the house, this recognition can boost confidence and self-esteem!
What Kind of Mistakes Are Made in a Reward System?
Alongside the reward system benefits, there are some downsides parents should be aware of when implementing them. While good behavior and work is important, it has to come from the right place!
- Misplaced Motivation – Rewards may be an easy way to motivate their kids, but they can also lead to children focused on the reward rather than good habits. When they receive rewards, they’ll get a dopamine release in the brain. But an overreliance on the reward system could lead to them becoming addicted to the reward highs.
- Misconception – Rewarding your kid for good grades or household chores can also cause a dogma of being rewarded every time (think of Pavlov’s dogs). This can lead to frustration in adulthood when nobody will give them a sticker or award for every job well done.
- Too Much Pressure – It’s a nice feeling for kids to stand out and feel like an individual. Unfortunately, if one child is getting rewarded and the others are not, it can lead to too much competition between sibilngs or peers. In this way, a rewards system for students can adversely impact their self-esteem.
How to Implement a Reward System?
In order to avoid those drawbacks when implementing a reward system with your children, there are a few things you might want to keep in mind:
1. Set a Goal
Don’t start rewarding your kid’s behavior or actions haphazardly. Instead, you’ll want to start by setting a well-defined goal. Whether you define the goal, or you ask them to make their own doesn’t really matter. The important thing is that your child has a clear objective to achieve. These should be measurable goals- like making your bed every morning or taking out the trash. Something vaguer like “being nice to your sister” can be harder to evaluate since it’s a little more subjective. But you can recognize and reward positive behaviors, like saying something kind to a sibling.
2. Implement Boundaries Within a Reward System
On that note, it’s important to set clear boundaries about what is and isn’t acceptable behavior within your reward system. Make it clear right away that the reward system is temporary and ends when the goal is reached. Even though the true reward is developing great habits, your child might not appreciate that concept as much as they would a new toy. So be sure to consistently praise and appreciate your child’s good behaviors, even after they reach their goals.
3. Define the Reward Together
You can then determine what they’ll receive when they achieve their goals. You may even want to get ideas from your kids so they can make a reward chart!
4. Focus on the Journey, Rather than the Destination
Also, ensure that you give rewards randomly though as the work or behavior is the end goal. Random doesn’t mean inconsistent, but rather implementing a system that is more process than product-oriented. Instead of tossing out golden stars or stickers with both hands, you can express recognition and appreciation by simply saying “thank you”.
A reward system can be a great way to incentivize your children to do their best. When you implement the system the right way, you let them know how much you value them doing good work. By consistently recognizing great behavior and creating clear boundaries, your kids will be on track.