More than our parents and much more than our grandparents, we want to be positive parents. We believe in rewarding good behaviour, rather than punishing bad behaviour.
So let’s think a bit about rewards. What makes a good reward? Well, obviously, it has to be something the child wants. “Great, Michelle, you’ve tidied your room. Here’s your celery.” It doesn’t work, does it?
But there’s a second part, which isn’t so obvious. It also has to cost you something. Think about cash. It’s one thing to be given $20 by someone who does not have much. It is another to be given $20 by someone who has a lot.
At kidslox, we think rewards for children are the same. A good reward has to be something the child wants and it has to cost you something.
We are not talking about money. There are other ways a reward could cost you something. It could cost you some time. That sounds good, but is it really? You don’t want to send the message to your children: “I’ll only spend time on you if you’re good”.
So how can you give a reward that costs you something? You let them do something you wouldn’t normally want them to do. Have some ice cream. Watch some TV. Play that computer game you think is a waste of time.