Reward Systems

Helping children understand acceptable and unacceptable behaviors is one of the many challenges of parenting. Naturally, children react positively and respond to positive influences and rewards and typically retract or act out with negativity. Reward Charts are a positive technique and tool for parents when it comes to encouraging responsibility with chores, actions and emotions. Each child comes with their own unique personality and because they do not come with a manual (even though we wish they did), we, as parents, have the job of figuring out what system works best for each of our child’s individual needs.

Here are some Reward Systems that we have tried and like.

Melissa and Doug Deluxe Magnetic Responsibility Chart

This system is easy to adjust and change and is great for children that are able to interact and help with the chart. It’s also very visually appealing to children.

Rewards for Kids: Ready-To-Use Charts and Activities for Positive Parenting

This book provides more than just charts, it provides a wide-range of tools that parents can use to help improve behavior and overcome common parent-child issues (e.g. bedtime, chores, personal relationships, etc.)

I Can Do It Reward Chart

This is a simple, clean look for children that get easily overwhelmed. Sometimes the look of a cluttered chart can turn into a negative thing. Too much, too soon can be a turn-off to some children.

Teacher Participation

If your child is school-aged, ask that the teacher mimic a similar system while your child is at school. Keeping things consistent for your child could be key. Schedule a meeting and listen; sometimes your child’s teacher will be able to clue you in to some behavioral patterns that you may or may not notice while your child is at home. We all know that you own child acts differently around mom and dad than they do around peers and teachers.

Bead or Money System

For the older child, sometimes an incentive works best. This system also teaches children responsibility through keeping track of their beads (or money) and saving. When our oldest turned 6, we implemented a bead system. We made a chart detailing each chore or action and matched it to a number of beads earned. We also made a reward section- a detailed list of rewards where he could turn in x-amount of beads to receive a trip to the movies, 1/2-hour of TV time, etc.

Another thing to remember- keep it fresh. A system that works may become redundant and require a change after a while. Also, some children’s needs change as they age and mature so one system that worked for months or years, may need to be adjusted along with the child’s emotional changes, comprehension level and physical changes.

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Christina lives in San Diego with her husband, 3 boys and her favorite coffee cup. Christina is a trained Montessori teacher with early childhood education and also has experience in the children’s fashion world as a business owner. While in the children's industry, Christina realized how important it was to research, be ‘in the know’ and one step ahead of the game with the latest and greatest baby gear, toys, clothing and accessories which naturally continued once she became a mom in 2002. Since the birth of her first son, Christina has become a reliable and trustworthy resource to friends, family and other parents on various parenting topics.

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