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Discuss Debbie's answer to: Do you have a rewards system in place at your home ...

Do you have a rewards system in place at your home with your kids? How do you reward or punish good behavior or bad behavior? I'm curious as to how everyone handles this and what works well for them ...

Incentives work well with children and adults alike Smile But be careful not to over due it. It's not a good policy to reward young children with 'things' as an incentive for following directives from a parent. That is an expectation, and will be all thru their lives on one level or another....what IS a great motivator is positive reinforcement in the form of verbal praise and hugs!  Encouraging them to complete a particular task, such as picking up their toys when play time is over, by letting them know what a great job they are doing and how proud that makes you, will go a long way towards building their self worth, and desire to please you!  On the other hand, if they refuse to do a particular task, you can motivate them by letting them know that their refusal makes you feel sad, and that if they won't put their toys away, they won't be able to play with them the next day...and then follow thru!  Young children are still developing emotionally, and physically, so try to keep that in mind when doling out consequences. I often find that a child who is 'out of control' in some way, just doesnt have the emotional development to 'reign themselves in' when they take things too far...ie: temper tantrums, or refusal to follow a parental directive. Most of the time, they already know when they have over done the 'drama' but they are still too young to figure out how to 'fix  things' and save face.  In which case, you can help them pace things down, and to make good choices. You may want to have the child sit down, without making a big issue of it the problem at hand, and in simple terms, let them know that their behavior makes you feel sad, and remind them of an earlier time when they responded well. Let them know you are giving them a chance to calm down and make a better decision, offering two alternatives. Then tell them you will come back when they are calmer, and count to five before they tell you how they will 'fix' the situation. In that way, you are not condemning them with a lot of emotional verbage  (we make our biggest mistakes when we get frustrated and come to the end of who we are, in dealing with a difficult situation) You are also giving them the power to chose, and to make the right choices.  If they dont, then you can again say that you are saddened by their behavior, and then dole out a consequence, letting them know that you hope the next time they will make a better choice.  (consequences can be taking away the toy  they refused to put away for an amount of time, or loss of tv, early bed, a trip to the park etc.)  I word of advice....try not to respond to a child who is 'pushing your buttons' in the heat of the battle. Letting them have time to 'cool their jets and make a better decision, also gives you time to cool yours!Smile  Remind yourself that you have a wonderful child, but while you have a wealth of life experience, your child doesnt have the maturity or self control to make all the right decisions at a young age...you are the teacher not the warden...so tread softly and when you dole out a consequence, make it one that's reasonable and not one thats impossible to follow thru with...and dont be a mush...stick to it! Consistency is a key element in teaching your child to make good choices....hope this was helpful!

"Faith is the rudder the steers your boat, courage is the stuff you use to plug up the holes."
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