How Rewards Can Be a Motivation for Kids

Positive consequences motivate everyone to do better, not only kids but also adults. Kids are certainly a handful, and so rewards can serve as a good motivation for them to behave.

Some parents are hesitant about giving their kids rewards because it seems like a bribe. It is vital to note that rewards are given by parents after kids show good behavior. Bribes are children asking for a reward in exchange for doing what the parents want.

Setting the two apart is important for both parents and their kids. The reward system teaches kids that rewards must be earned, but bribery only encourages manipulation. Always consider that the parents’ actions and consistency with rewards will shape them in the long run.

  1. Small rewards like stickers and toys can change a child’s behavior

For younger kids, positive reinforcements work great when trying to change bad behavior. Smaller rewards like marbles, toys, collection cards, and puzzles are recommended because they are given more often. When children display an undesirable behavior, explain why it’s wrong and how they can make it right.

Rewards don’t necessarily have to be new items that they get to keep. For example, properly putting toys away means they get dessert during dinner. When they get in bed on time, maybe the parent can read them a story.

Parents can get creative with these rewards and make it educational and full of learning. A trip to a museum, zoo, or national park can be awarded every so often. Maintain their enthusiasm for these rewards; otherwise, they will have no motivation to do better.

  1. Big rewards like trophies can help kids focus on goals

There’s a reason why schools and competitions for children still give out participation trophies. It’s because they remain effective in motivating children to keep trying to reach their goals. Buying trophies and awards and rewarding them with these for their efforts will inspire them to achieve bigger things.

Participation awards recognize the effort, which is more important than achievement. In the long run, it’s the perseverance to keep working hard that really matters. Greater effort leads to more growth and development, and the lack of recognition can lower a child’s self-esteem.

Some parents also like the use of sticker charts for older kids where they can exchange for bigger rewards. Such rewards could be more TV or gadget time or being accompanied to the mall. What’s important is that the criteria for earning rewards are clearly explained to the child.

  1. Academic medals and certificates can make children engaged in academics

Classroom awards make kids feel really happy and appreciated, especially the younger kids in school. Medals and certificates also motivate kids to do better in school even without constant parental reminders. They’ll set standards for themselves knowing that they can receive awards at the end of the year.

Not getting a reward when they have a bad grade may feel like a punishment. Students may focus too much on the reward that they do whatever’s necessary to get it, like cheating. Thus, educators need to provide a good sense of community in the classroom, which should value learning and effort.

A lot of studying happens at home, and parents can continue doing their reward systems. Finishing homework before dinner can push back bedtime by thirty minutes, or something to that effect. Motivating children to do better academically isn’t just the school’s responsibility, but the parents’ too.

  1. Verbal praise from the parents can deepen their trust and relationship

Praise and encouragement from a trusted adult, most especially parents, can really go a long way. It’s not always material things or experiences that children crave; sometimes, all they want are recognition and attention. Praise must always be framed positively and pointed specifically at good behavior.

Like material rewards, verbal praise encourages compliance and effort to keep trying. Sometimes, kids misbehave because they aren’t getting enough attention. Be careful not to let proper behavior go unnoticed so they will act out less often.

Parents do commit discipline mistakes like giving in to tantrums or bribes, but it can be corrected. Without a clear reward plan, children’s misbehavior can cause even more chaos in the household. It will be much easier to track their positive behavioral changes with a comprehensive plan.

Appreciate the Kids’ Efforts

When praising kids for their good behavior, focus on their effort and growth instead of the outcome. Doing otherwise may lead them to accomplish goals solely for rewards, instead of its real purpose. The reward system may be tricky, but all it takes is good and clear communication with children.

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