How to create a working reward system for your kids?
As being a stay-at-home mom of five kids, I am the person responsible for the normal daily running of our family. A good working reward system is my biggest help in this task. But it wasn’t always like this. It took a long time for me to find out how to create a good system for us. If you don’t want to get through such a long term and hard period, take the fashion and style blogger from Brisbane, Sophia Smith‘s advice and main considerations how to create a working system for your own kids.
Ever since we were kids, we were thought that every good deed deserves a reward and every bad one deserves a punishment – that is how the world works. Now, as adults, when we are watching our kids growing up to be good people and reaching small milestones, we feel like there is a need to reward them and motivate them to be even better. Still, we are afraid that too much rewarding will end up spoiling the kids, and find ourselves lost in front of the question how to choose an appropriate award.
There are plenty of factors influencing the answer to that question, including how large the achievement is, how old is the kids, etc. Here, we will provide some simple guidelines that will help you make that conclusion on your own.
Track the Progress
To be able to determine what exactly is sufficient for rewarding you have to be able to track the children’s progress. The easiest way to achieve that is by using a chart (for smaller kids and short-term goals) or a calendar (for older than 12 and long-term goals).
At the same time, that tracking will motivate the kids to become better and to get one more star, flower, or whatever you are using to mark successes. Mark some milestones which deserve a special reward.
Someone once said that “deadlines are the ultimate motivation” and that is true. If you set a time for some chores or school tasks and use a timer or an alarm clock, you can fight with the constant putting off tasks. However, do not put too much pressure on children’s mind and make sure that the given time is always reasonable considering the difficulty of the task. Disciplining kids is not about imposing your will at any cost.
Encouraging Specific Behaviors
All kids (and all adults) have some negative and positive habits. With kids, those habits can be easily influenced with a good reward system. For instance, you can reward going to bed on time, picking up toys from the floor, helping with house chores, etc. Start with just one or two behaviors, until the children are used to the system
Choosing the Rewards
This seems as the most complicated part, and it is not far from truth. It is hard to find the balance between material rewards children want and the mind-enriching ones they actually need. Whenever you can, opt for the latter ones. Yes a new toy and a phone (depending on the age) can be options, but try to find other creative rewards, such as picnic, camping, visiting a museum or the simple playing of videogames.
In the last case, do your best to choose a fun game with educational content, such as Poptropica mythology island, which brings history closer to kids. Also, you can always ask the children what do they want, and if you find their wishes reasonable enough, why not making them come true?
Using the System
Before you start using the system, you will need to explain to your kids how exactly it works. Be very clear about explaining the correct and incorrect behaviors and appropriate rewards. Be consistent about giving points and rewards, in order for it to become a routine. Remember that the reward system is designed to motivate kids to generate positive habits not to force them into doing things they do not want. Force can only create the opposite effect. Also, the praise should always come before the very reward, so explain your children verbally why did they deserve this.
Remember how we said on the beginning that every bad deed deserves a punishment? Well, be aware that if you are building a reward system, you are renouncing your right to punish, because in this system the “not getting the reward” is a punishment by itself. Just trust your instincts and everything will be fine.
Sophia Smith is a freelance writer from Brisbane, Australia with huge interest in beauty, fashion and healthy living. She could be described as beauty addict and life lover. She writes mostly in beauty related topics, mainly through blogs and articles. Sophia is regular contributor at High Style Life on topics related to beauty, fashion and lifestyle.