Using a reward system
Here are the pros and cons of using a reward system.
Most kids like to please. Catching them doing the right thing, rather than the wrong thing, is the first step in encouraging good behaviour.
If a smile, a thank you or a pat on the back doesn’t seem to be recognition enough, you might find yourself using a system of rewards.
But beware, because rewards can become habit-forming. Sometimes the result is that children will only cooperate with their parents when something is in it for them or they can receive a reward. You can make a rod for your back if you overuse rewards.
A reward system does have its place, and can work well to break a pattern of behaviour – using a star chart, for example, to encourage a child to pack his school bag properly every day.
Advice to parents is to stick to social rewards, providing a fun activity with you, an extra story or time on the computer, rather than money or expensive items.
Never use rewards as a bribe. Don’t make good behaviour contingent on rewards. Always accompany with recognition and descriptive feedback such as, “You did a great job of tidying your room.”