Being a parent is one of the hardest, yet most rewarding jobs there is- your child, in your eyes, is the most precious being. However, one of the most common struggles is the notion of rewards- when you should reward your child and when you shouldn’t, you may not realize that certain things you are doing are rewarding your child for negative behaviors and therefore reinforcing them. Of course, this does not mean that you should not reward your child for fear of spoiling them, as you want to reinforce positive behaviors and rewards can be a great way of doing this.
When to reward?
Encourage completion of tasks
You should be rewarding your child when they do something that is good- sounds simple and easy right? Wrong. Many people believe that their child should just display those behaviors because it’s just what’s right, not for a reward, which of course will eventually be the case, but for young children, rewards are a very important thing. For example, if you teach your child that whenever they do chores such as tidy their room, they earn more time in the evening to watch TV or play on the games console, the child will at first only do as you say to receive the reward (which isn’t such a bad thing- the chore still gets done!) but will eventually carry on this behavior as they realize it is what is expected of them and avoids them getting told off.
Encourage good social skills
Another important time to reward is when the child spontaneously goes out their way to do something kind and caring, such as helping a friend who has fallen over, or hugging their sister when they are crying- while these may seem like obvious things to do and societal norms, a child can be very egocentric and only think about themselves, so teaching them that being kind to others by reward, is always a good idea.
When not to reward?
As previously mentioned, being a parent is a very difficult job and I’m sure all parents can relate to those days where you would do anything for a nap yourself! However, this encourages many parents to give in to their child’s moaning and tantrums by giving them what they want and this can spiral into a bigger issue and cause the child to become spoilt. While you may be tired and fed up, you must stand your ground and it will make everything easier in the future and create a nicer kid!
For the sake of it!
As much as you love your child and as cute as they may be… stop buying all those unnecessary toys! While it is nice to buy them things and as much as you love them and want them to be happy, you need to take a step back and ask yourself if you are teaching them that they can have whatever they want before you buy it, or ask yourself if they really do need it. Plus, when you aren’t continually buying them things, they will appreciate it more when they do receive a gift. Of course, if it is an occasion or they were brave at the dentist- treat them! You can ontdek geweldige cadeaus voor een 3-jarige jongen hier but in other cases… give your bank account rest and let your child appreciate the toys they already have!