Saturday, December 8, 2018

Tip # 8 Rewarding Your Child

“My child loves stickers, so I started giving her a sticker whenever she did
something I wanted her to do.  But now, she refuses to be responsible unless
I tell her that she will get a sticker - even to dress up! I feel like she is holding
me hostage and will only do what I want her to do if she gets a sticker!  
What do I do?”

Many parents use stickers, charts and simply toys, extra dessert, etc. as incentives
for the child to do things.  There is nothing wrong with this practice, but a reward
should not be used for every little thing. These rewards should be used judiciously.  
We don’t want children to misbehave knowing that if they stop, they will be rewarded.
No one wants to be manipulated by a child!
If your child is always working for the reward, he won't learn the real reasons
for doing things -- that he should pick up his toys because family members pitch in.
Best bet: Reserve rewards for finite endeavors, such as potty training or going to
sleep without a fuss.  Avoid offering them for everyday things, such as dressing
himself or brushing his teeth.
You can talk to your child about the difference between doing things because they
are right or need to be done.  Things such as cleaning up toys or putting trash in the
garbage are doing things because they are the right thing to do.  Getting homework
done is another example.
But going the extra mile, like seeing Grandpa rake the leaves and your child pitching
in to help deserves a reward.  Babysitting the neighbor's dog deserves a reward.
We want our children to grow up to be responsible adults by doing what is asked of
them and what is the right thing to do.  We don’t want kids growing up thinking that they
need to control others to get what they want and that the only times they will act wisely,
is if there is something in it for themselves.  Our society needs people who are more
altruistic than manipulative.

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