If you’re a parent or care for children quite often, then you’ve probably been in a situation where a child continues to do something they shouldn’t, even after you’ve asked them not to. Children are well known for pushing their parents boundaries to the limit! This could be throwing a fit while you’re food shopping, hitting a sibling, or something else altogether. Sometimes, parents try to bribe children in order to get them to do what they want them to do, e.g. ‘if you’re a good girl/boy and put your toys away, you can have a bar of chocolate’. The problem with this kind of behaviour is that a child grows to think they are entitled to certain things for certain behaviour, even though this behaviour should be considered ‘normal’. If you refuse to teach your child this kind of habit, you could be helping them later on in life; especially when it comes to financial management. They won’t think they’re entitled to something for nothing, and they won’t go out and treat themselves if they have no money just because they feel like they deserve it. They should be eating their vegetables, putting away their toys, and getting along with their sibling all of the time, and if they don’t they should be punished by getting put on the naughty step. This teaches children that there’s no reward for normal behaviour – this is how they’re expected to act. So, when exactly should you reward your child for good behaviour?
When children hit around 6 years old, it can help to give them money for things they want to buy themselves. However, I believe you shouldn’t give them money just for being there or performing a normal household task – they should contribute to helping in other ways to earn their pocket money. For example, you buy and cook the food, so in return they should help you with the dishes with no expectations for money afterwards. You purchase and wash their clothes, so they could fold them and this be considered ‘normal behaviour’.
For any extra work they decide to do, you could pay them 50p per task, for example. They might want to help prune the garden, rake the leaves, or some other helpful task that they don’t have to do – you can reward them for this. You could put up a board with a list of tasks available for them to do, and then a set amount of money next to each one; smaller tasks could be 30p, while a larger task might be 50p-£1. It’s up to you! Make sure these tasks are age appropriate for the best results, and let them know that they aren’t compulsory – they are just there incase your child would like to earn money to buy some sweets, magazines, or collectable dolls, for example.
Make sure you don’t spoil your child and help them to become a great person at the same time by teaching them these life lessons!