Rewarding a child for good behavior or performance is a great positive reinforcement tactic. It is important to create a reward system that teaches your child how to continue with the good behavior rather than to expect a prize each time the behavior is practiced or a goal is accomplished. The reward cannot act like a bribe, but rather it should show your child how proud you are of his or her performance and the action steps he or she took to get there.
If you’re looking to motivate your kids this fall – whether it’s for a great recital performance, good behavior or to congratulate them on a successful first report card — here are some great gift ideas to reward their accomplishments.
For younger children, stickers can be a great motivator for good behavior and achievements. Make a board with certain milestones and give fun, colorful stickers when your child does something good. There are a lot of fun reward charts you can find to make it a fun experience. When they earn enough stickers, have a cumulative reward for a job well done.
Chances are pretty good that your kid still hangs out to some stuffed animals, and they can be a great gift following a successful recital or a big test. The Serious Teddy Bear company offers a number of teddy bear gift baskets for any occasion, and they’re a fun way to show how proud you are of your kid’s work.
A new puzzle or LEGO set are great rewards for elementary students who have met their goals. First, they offer a fun, creative activity to stimulate their minds, and you can also reward them with some fun parent-bonding time. See what you can build with your child – it’s also a rewarding time for you!
Get Out of Work Free Card
You most likely enlist your children in daily and weekly chores (and reward them regularly for a job well done), but it’s a near certainty that chores are their least favorite thing to do. As such, a reduction in weekly chores can be a pretty potent reward for many kids. You don’t have to go crazy, but giving them a week off dish-duty is a powerful incentive.
Take a Trip
While a trip to a nearby theme park can be a tremendous reward for a full semester of good grades, not everyone can afford a big trip when their kid pulls off straight As. Luckily, there are plenty of good day trips to take that are fun and educational. If your child struggled in history or science this semester, take a trip to a local museum or zoo to get them some hands on learning.
Your child may have a laundry list of accomplishments that you plan to reward during the year. Try writing out all of the prizes you are willing to gift and put them into a rewards treasure chest, then let them choose one at an appropriate time. This will keep your rewards system interesting to your child and allow you to always have a prize on hand. You never know when good behavior will need to be recognized.
Vance Miller is a father of two and a writer covering trends in education, green living, and technology. Vance currently conducts digital media research for The Serious Teddy Bear company.