If you haven't figured it out yet, here at Okaloosa County Head Start we want to offer the best child development Fort Walton and the surrounding Okaloosa County area has to offer.
At the core of every child is the deep longing to please the parents. With this desire comes major disappointment when disobedience or the parents' standards are not met. As a result, it is absolutely crucial to develop a "reward system" for your child in order that they may be encouraged and affirmed in practicing good behavior.
Here are some tips on how to go about rewarding your child for their good deeds:
Our goal is summed up in the traditional proverbial saying that states:
- Establish the reward system. As mentioned above and as most parents can see, children love to RECEIVE something in return for their obedience. You can use a money system or a "goods" system (rewarding with toys, dolls, baseball cards, etc.). Whatever it may be, it should be tailored to each child so they are truly excited for what they receive.
- Be clear about what the rewards are for. An easy way to make sure your kids understand what they are working for is by putting the tasks or behaviors on a chart (blackboard, whiteboard, paper on the fridge). Here are a few common ones: brushing their teeth, cleaning up after themselves, sitting on the potty—whatever good behavior you want to encourage. Also, using pictures for young children can be helpful and fun.
- Put yourself on the chart too! As we talked about in our building character entry Mom and dad are being followed, so why not set the example and put your name on the board! After all, these are the FAMILY rules so that means you too! Also, kids do enjoy calling Daddy out if he doesn't put his dish in the sink, or if Mom forgets to brush her teeth. (We all do it!)
- Keep the rewards in clear sight. Make certain to keep a solid reminder of what your child is accomplishing. When your child receives their reward, think about keeping the money, dolls, cards, whatever it may be...in sight but out of reach. For example, put the dolls up high on a shelf or cabinet. This way, your child will SEE they are accomplishing the objective but will have to wait to receive the reward in full.
- Give them unexpected rewards. A reward system isn't just about catching them behaving or misbehaving. Sometimes, you can reward your kid just BECAUSE. Rewarding them in this manner will teach them that striving to be a good person alone has value, and it will keep them motivated and excited to keep being a good kid, and may even begin to DESIRE to please you without receiving a reward. Yay!
Be creative, have fun, and at the end of the day remember that the rewards system is used to produce a loving and caring environment in your home, not just rules.