I know not everyone’s on board with rewards or the concept of dangling carrots. I get that. Using reward charts to encourage positive behavior from your kids can sometimes be seen as surface-level parenting rather than getting to the heart issue causing negative behavior in the first place.
My own opinion is that, when properly balanced with heart instruction, rewards can be effective encouragement for kids.
Sometimes a little boost, a grace in the training, a small “I noticed that gesture of kindness,” can be a huge motivator for children who may feel their days are otherwise overrun with struggles.
So today I thought I’d share some ways in which we use our reward jar.
- Yesterday you were offered a FREE DOWNLOAD to encourage your family to join the effort in turning off unused lights and appliances; at our house, when an individual accumulates 10 tally marks, she gets to choose from the reward jar.
- We try to reward small moments when a child goes above and beyond the expected, particularly when they’ve shown a strong work ethic.
- Sometimes I’ll allow a reward jar selection when one of our kids is happy to help me or their dad in a moment of need
- …when I catch them including a buddy who would otherwise be left out
- doing a self-motivated act of kindness
- …when they practice an instrument for X days in a row–or another agreed-upon goal
One thing I really made an effort to do when compiling this jar was to not make too many food-based rewards. Can you believe that’s harder than one might think! We don’t want to send the message that the only way to celebrate and enjoy time together is around a bowl of ice cream [although let's be honest, it is a dee-lish treat in the summer!].
Here are some of the things in our jar:
- a trip to _____Park
- a library visit
- choose a new book from mom’s secret stash
- go to a ball game with dad
- invite a friend over to play
- make cookies with mom
- rent a movie of your choice
- order pizza for dinner
- buy a book from the next book order at school
- pick out a new coloring book
- have a glass of pop with dinner
- get a new pack of play dough at Target
So what is your opinion about using rewards? What kind of rewards do you offer your kids…if you do?