Rewards have different meanings for different individuals. But, the bottom line of receiving some sort of appreciation remains the same: It triggers a ‘feel-good factor’ in the recipient and builds a sense of accomplishment. This is equally true for adults and kids. But in the case of kids, rewards can be used as a tool for motivation and instilling good habits.
Research has found the benefits of positive reinforcement to have a lifelong effect on an individual. According to a Psychology Today article authored by a professor of Human Development at the University of California, rewards are more effective than punishment because children respond more positively to the former.
Therefore, rewarding your child for a good deed can go a long way in reinforcing positive habits. But rewards don’t mean expensive gifts and toys. Here are some reward ideas that will motivate and inspire your children without breaking your bank.
1. A few kind words do wonders
Praising a kid for the effort to accomplish a task can leave an indelible mark in the young mind. And, it can motivate to push further to continue with the effort. So praising in public as well as in private can serve as a reward that boosts the morale of your child.
2. Participate in a family activity of the kid’s choice
Nothing will delight kids more than to pick a favorite activity, be it a cartoon show, a movie, a game, or art and craft, to enjoy together as a family. They would love the fact that you too enjoy the movies and shows they love watching and spend quality time with them playing games and making crafts.
3. Deciding what the family eats for dinner one weeknight
Kids love to don the hat of grownups, taking on decision-making roles. Reward them for their good behavior with the chance to decide the menu for dinner. If they are big enough, team up to prepare their chosen dish and let them serve too.
4. A few extra minutes of screen time
Gadgets are the necessary evils of modern childhood. Turn these into your favor by pegging a few extra minutes of screen time as a reward for practicing a good habit.
5. Stay up past bedtime on a weekend night.
Children are bundles of energy who detest the idea of going to bed. Yet to reinforce discipline and timeliness, we set them a schedule that includes bedtime as well. Relax this bedtime by 30 minutes on a weekend night to reward them for a task done well.
6. A play date or sleepover with friends
Make your kids socially active while rewarding them for finishing schoolwork independently with playdates or a sleepover with friends. They would love the little party you organize for them on such occasions.
7. Indulgence with treats
Sweets are the poison that parents try to keep kids away from. Yet, they are used as occasional rewards and a lesson in moderation. For instance, you can offer sweet treats and oft-raved-about American snacks to indulge them once in a while as a prize for completing chores on time. Do make sure they brush their teeth well afterward and then link that with yet another reward!
What other reward ideas for kids would you add to this list?