Four Fun Methods of Rewarding Children for Good Behavior
Shaping your child’s behavior can be challenging. Experts agree that the best way to instill good behaviors is through the use of positive reinforcement. Children typically respond very strongly to rewards, so having some simple systems for recognizing and rewarding desired behaviors will make your parenting job much easier.
1. Star Chart Method
Using a star chart is a popular reward method. Write your child’s name at the top of a chart and below it make a list of behaviors that you want to reward. The behaviors can be things like brushing teeth, getting ready for bed without being told, staying in bed through the night, or any behavior that you wish. Each time the behavior is performed to your satisfaction, give your child a star that can be placed on the chart. Once your child earns a set number of stars, a reward is earned. Children will not only work hard for a reward, but they will enjoy the satisfaction of placing a star on their chart each time they complete a task.
2. Marble Jar Method
Keeping a jar on a shelf and adding a marble for each good deed is another way to measure success. The rewards do not have to wait until the jar it full, either. Goal lines can be added so that small rewards are given as benchmarks are reached, with a big reward earned when the jar is full.
3. Patch Rewards
Another creative way to encourage your child to master good behavior is to offer patches similar to those awarded to Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts for special achievements. Patches are fun because they allow your child to display success everywhere he or she goes. Your child will enjoy being involved in choosing the desired behaviors and the patches that acknowledge them.
4. Advanced Stick Jar
Stick jar is similar to marble jar, with a craft stick being placed in a jar each time good behavior happens, and an award reached when enough sticks are in the jar. One way to add a twist is to have a second jar to hold craft sticks with rewards written on them. When your child earns enough sticks, they get to select from the second jar for a surprise at reward time. This method also works for older children. Instead of using the sticks to earn a reward at the end, make each stick worth tv or game time. This way they can earn play time each time they do their chores. Just put the sticks back in the original jar when they’ve used their time.
No matter the method you choose, positive reinforcement is the best way to encourage your child to exhibit good behavior. Experts say it is always good to involve your child in the process of selecting the method and the rewards. When you are at the store, if your child points out a certain game or toy they really want, buy the toy and make them earn it! Be creative, have fun with the details, and celebrate success together.
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