Rewards provide positive reinforcement for your child’s good behavior. They can be powerful motivators to encourage your child to complete a difficult task. Recognizing your child and their job well done will strengthen your relationship and help them continue their pattern of good behavior. Here are eight fun and creative ways you can reward your child for their good behavior!
Spend Quality Time
Spending extra quality time with your child can be a great way to reward their good behavior. Many children crave their parent’s approval in the form of attention. Spending quality time with them one on one will help them feel special and recognized for their unique abilities, especially if you have more than one child. This quality time can be very simple, and it doesn’t have to be for very long. The main idea is to be intentional about creating time for your child.
Do Their Favorite Activity
Reward your child’s good behavior by taking them to do their favorite activity. Taking them on a hike, playing games with them, or going on a family outing will build happy memories and strengthen your relationship with your child. This can also help your kids develop a diverse set of hobbies and talents as they explore activities that they love.
Give an Allowance
An allowance is a great way to encourage your child to build a consistent pattern of good behavior. There are many ways you could set up your allowance system. Many families find success with using a chore chart that lists each child’s daily responsibilities. For each day that your child meets the requirements, you can reward them with a set amount of money to use as their own.
Giving an allowance to your child will not only encourage them to complete their daily chores, but will also help teach them how to work hard, save money, and spend it responsibly. If your child does an especially good job one week, you can reward them with a raise and increase their allowance. If you’re struggling to figure out how much allowance you should give your child, there are even apps that can help you figure out how to reward your child with allowance based on the chores they do.
Get a Puppy
Many children long to take care of a pet. Granting their wish by getting a puppy has many surprising benefits! For example, walking, bathing, and feeding a puppy will teach your kids about the responsibilities of taking care of another living creature. Owning a puppy is a great excuse for your kids to get outside and stay active. In addition to improving your child’s physical health, a puppy can also improve their mental health. A number of studies show that owning a pet can decrease a child’s likelihood of becoming depressed or anxious. A puppy can also help your child improve their social skills, build their confidence, and learn how to be selfless. These are only a few of the benefits that a puppy can have in your family.
There are many breeds of puppies you can choose that suit different families. Golden retrievers, beagles, and collies are all family-friendly dogs that could fit right in with your family. Before buying a puppy, do some research on a breed that would work best for you and your children.
Give Affirming Praise
Verbal praise is one of the best ways to reward your child. It costs nothing, but it can have a huge impact on your child’s confidence and self-esteem. When praising your child, remember to always praise their effort, not their achievement.
Many parents lavish their children with sweeping, superlative, praise such as “you’re amazing!” “You’re so smart!” or “You’re a fabulous artist!” believing that they’re bolstering their child’s self-worth. However, research has recently shown that showering excessive accolades on your children can actually decrease their confidence to take on new challenges. This is because children may feel pressure to continually perform perfectly in order to get that validation. Over time, children may stop taking risks or trying new things, lest they disappoint their parents.
You can still give positive verbal feedback to your children in a healthy way by focusing on their effort, improvement, and persistence. This will encourage them to take risks, set high goals, and work hard without being afraid of making mistakes. Give specific, honest, affirmations that celebrate their uniqueness and achievements.
Make Their Favorite Meal
Making your child’s favorite meal for a family dinner is a great way to celebrate their accomplishments and reward their good behavior. Sharing their favorite meal with the entire family can show your child that their opinions and preferences matter to you, and that you are supportive of their choices, even the small ones. If you don’t want to cook, letting your child choose their favorite restaurant for dinner one evening is a great alternative.
Surprise Them with a New Toy
On special occasions, surprising your child with a gift of a new toy can be a memorable reward for good behavior. Make sure not to set a precedent of giving a material reward for every good behavior—this can become expensive for you as a parent, and can train your child to feel a false sense of entitlement, working for extrinsic objects, rather than intrinsic accomplishments. But if your child has been wishing for a certain toy for some time, rewarding them with a gift is a great way to show your love for them.
A Day Off from Chores
Rewarding your child with time off from chores is a cost-effective way to show your appreciation for their good behavior. Giving them free time to spend according to their wishes shows your child that you trust them and value their time. Be careful to give this reward sparingly so that your children can build a pattern of consistency with their daily responsibilities. That way, when the reward does come, they recognize it as something really special.
Shake up your usual reward system with a few of these creative ideas! Each of these ideas are effective ways to show your love for your child and encourage their continued good behavior. Make sure to give these rewards intentionally; rewards planned ahead of time are effective signs of affirmation.
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