Getting kids to be on their best behaviour can be tricky. When they decide to do as they’re told and don’t play up at all, it can feel like a real miracle. However, rewarding them every single time can actually be a bad idea. Why? Because they’ll begin to expect rewards for what should be considered normal behaviour. They’ll carry this with them later on in life and more than likely have a sense of entitlement. They may even become manipulative and learn just how to push your buttons to get exactly what they want. That doesn’t mean you can’t ever reward them. You just need to be careful about when you do it! Here’s a guide to help you:
Don’t Bribe Them
Despite what you may think and what some people may say, there’s a difference between bribing them and rewarding them. Bribing kids and offering them treats in exchange for doing something they should be doing anyway, will mean they expect something for doing the simplest of tasks. If you continue a pattern like this, then your child might begin to act out in order to get exactly what they want. They’ll learn how to play you. If you negotiate too much with your child, you make them the boss, and they’ll know it. You’re the boss, and you need to bear this in mind. You’ll often bribe when you’re feeling stressed, to try to change their behaviour as quickly as you can. It can be embarrassing when your kids act out in public, so it’s no wonder that you end up bribing them to control them. The child then learns that if they push your buttons and stress you out, eventually you’ll offer them something you weren’t offering before.
Rewarding your child for good behaviour is different, because you aren’t being manipulated by them in the process. It helps if you come up with rewards for them ahead of time, rather than in moments of severe stress. Reward charts are an effective way to get your kids to do what you want them to do. Use tokens to reward good behaviour, and take a token away when they misbehave. Try not to negotiate with them or shout at them, just take the tokens away when they’re misbehaving. Make sure you outline clear rules and guidelines on what is expected of them. When they have enough tokens, they can be used to give them a bigger reward. For example, a game or some craft supplies. Days out with kids are good ways to reward them too. If they know they’re working towards a bigger reward, then it’ll be easier for them to keep their eyes on the prize. You must be consistent though. Your actions speak much louder than words when it comes to children, so always follow through with things you say you’re going to do.
Do you understand a little more about rewarding your kids now? Leave a comment if you have any effective methods of your own.