Many parents make the mistake of assuming that a reward system involves extravagant items. There are rewards that are effective and will cost you nothing.
There are various low-cost and free tactics that you can use to reward your kids. Privileges can include activities that your child already enjoys doing.
It is essential to ensure that your child is serious about earning the incentive by offering rewards that are in line with your child’s needs and interests. For example, one child may be motivated by going for ice cream while another may be motivated with additional TV time or being in charge of the remote for a couple of hours.
Whether you’re trying to encourage your child to get his chores done, teaching him to stop hitting or throwing things, here are a few rewards ideas for kids to keep them motivated and positive.
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Giving praise should not be limited to giant achievements. A few words of encouragement as an incentive can go a long way in re-assuring your child that you are paying attention to the effort he is putting in and stay motivated to keep up the good work. Make sure you often praise him for being good.
- Material rewards
Sometimes praise won’t do the trick and a little extra incentive is called for. A treasure box filled with items from the dollar shop can be an excellent motivational tool. Let your child pick a reward item at the end of the week if he’s met his goals.
- Bedtime curfew
Another great way to motivate a child is to allow them to stay up for an extra few minutes. Many parents are tentative to allow their kids to stay up later, but let’s be honest, a few minutes is not going to make them sleep deprived. Younger kids will feel like a “big kid” if they’re able to stay up later than their siblings and this can be an excellent incentive. However, if you have a child who does not have good sleeping habits, then this incentive is not ideal, and it will be best to choose another.
- Meaningful activities
You can choose an activity that your child will enjoy doing and will also allow you to have more bonding time for example, playing a board game, going to the park, go to the movies or an extra bedtime story.
- Additional screen time
It is vital to keep your child’s electronics use regulated, but you can make the use of digital devices your reward. Just make sure you are putting a cap on the amount of time the child can earn i.e. two-hour limit.
Screen time rewards can be offered in 15-minute intervals. Say for instance your child had a good day at school, he has earned himself 15 minutes and if he exhibits good behaviour such as being respectful, then he can have another 15 minutes.
- Making crafts
Most kids enjoy getting messy or being creative and there are loads of inspiration to be found online for making crafts with regular household items.
Finger painting, making jewellery or creating things from empty egg cartons, cotton balls, ribbons, buttons and other bibs and bobs lying around the house can be an excellent reward and your kid will love you for it.
Kids love the idea of earning coupons that get them to either received stuff or allowing them to forfeit on a chore. You can fill a container with coupons that says things like: “you get to skip one chore” or “choose your favourite meal for dinner”. Your child can have the option to use the coupon whenever he wants (within reason of course).
- Social activities
You can consent to your child earning more social opportunities such as having a sleepover or inviting a friend to visit, or you can offer to take the friend with when going to the park or a fun activity.
- Reward chart or token system
A system that can work really well for kids of all ages is either a sticker chart or token system. Once he has earned a certain number of stickers or tokens by the end of the month you can offer superior incentives for instance buying them the toy they’ve been wanting for a long time, treating them to a playing session at a playpark or taking them to a family restaurant for a nice meal. Reward charts are aimed at changing children’s behaviour.
Reward charts are an excellent way to:
- Encourage behaviour that you desire, for instance brushing teeth without fuss.
- Discourage bad behaviour for instance hitting or throwing toys.
- Reward your child for accomplishing new skills like putting away toys or staying well-behaved in a shopping centre.
- Food rewards
It’s not always the best idea to offer junk food as a reward, but you can maybe motivate your child by offering junk food once or twice a month if they’ve earned enough tokens for good behaviour. Alternatively, you can agree to having your child choose what’s for dinner or let him have a picnic in the garden or camp out in the backyard if the weather permits or it is safe to do so. Another great idea is to allow them to help you with baking something special like making cupcakes and decorating them.
When it comes to reward ideas for kids, the possibilities are endless. You can get your child involved by asking them what types of rewards they would prefer to earn. Very often it is the simplest things like sleeping in a tent, visiting the park or allowing them to get messy that really motivates them to behave.
Once you’ve compiled a list of rewards, identify which tasks needs to be completed first to earn a reward. Remember to be specific and don’t make it too easy to earn the first reward. Success will motivate them to keep up the good work and to work hard for what they want.