Setting Up a Reward System for the Kids Made All Our Lives Easier

6 Reward Systems for KidsIf you have younger kids, I bet you can relate when I say that I have been struggling with getting my kids to do anything they don’t want to do. I have to ask them repeatedly to clean up their toys, put their dishes away, and not take 35 minutes twice a day to brush their teeth.

I was beginning to feel like I was spending way too much time trying to correct what they were not “doing right” and it was taking a toll on all of us.

Everyone — from adults to kids — love and need to hear when they’re doing a good job. We like to be rewarded (even if it’s just a “thank you”) if we’ve gone above and beyond or exceeded in some way. It’s good for the soul and can make a huge difference when you’re told you’re doing a good job.

There seems to have been a small shift in parenting lately where we’re afraid to tell our kids they’re doing well — for fear of over-good-jobbing them for mundane things. For toddlers, though many parents are okay with making a big deal with their kid when they finally use the toilet and diapers are no longer, some time after that the rewards and “good jobs” seem to stop.

Well, I wanted to stop having to always correct my kids. I wanted it to be more positive around here and so I talked to my kid’s teacher about  reward systems and positive reinforcement. In my kid’s classroom they have what’s called a “bean jar.” The kids get a dried bean to put in their jar when they do something awesome like cleaning their toys, listening well, etc. They have set guidelines for what will get a bean and what won’t. When they fill the jar up, the class is rewarded with a popcorn party.

So, we started the same system at home. We got dried black beans, a jar with each of their names on them and have them right next to the TV in the livingroom so the kids can see them at all times. We set out what will get a bean and what won’t, and when the kids do something above and beyond, then they will get a bean as well.

We’ve been doing this system for about 3 months now and the response has been so amazing! They are almost done filling their jar for the first time. The  morale around here has certainly changed and it not only feels good for them to be told (and to see, kids love to see) they’re doing a good job, it’s been really great for me to shift my attitude and to be more open to the positive feedback we all need.

Check out some different ways you can set up your own reward system for your kids:

  • Bean Jar 1 of 6
    Bean Jar
    This is what we use at home and it's working so well. The kids get a dried black bean that they get to put into their jar when they do something we feel should get a "good job" reward. When they fill their jar -- we have a popcorn and pj party!
    Photo credit:
  • Sticker Chart 2 of 6
    Sticker Chart
    A lot of parents use this system when they're encouraging their child to use the washroom during those potty training days, but they can be used much longer. Kids love to see their good jobs and that doesn't change too much between 2 years old and 9 years old. If you have chores you've assigned to your kids, placing a sticker when they've completed is a good way for them to keep track of their awesome work.
    Photo credit: photostock.
  • Hole Punch Chart 3 of 6
    Hole Punch Chart
    This is similar to the sticker chart, but it's also like a game board. If you have a list of things you'd like your child to do -- or things they will get rewarded for, write it on a piece of paper in the shape of a board game. They get their square hole-punched when it's completed.
    Photo credit: photostock.
  • Rubber Band Ball 4 of 6
    Rubber Band Ball
    If you're not into giving rewards, but still believe that your child should visually see just how awesome they're doing (we all love positive reinforcement), a rubber band ball is cheap and easy. Use aluminum foil to make a ball and your child gets an elastic to build their ball with each good job deed. They get to watch their ball grow and grow!
    Photo credit: photostock.
  • Popsicle Reward Choice 5 of 6
    Popsicle Reward Choice
    If you want to reward your child, but don't want them to have to wait until something is filled (like the bean jar), you can use an immediate reward system. Write things like "stay up an hour extra" or "choose the movie for family night" at the bottom of a Popsicle stick. Let your kid choose one out of the jar and they get their reward.
    Photo credit: photostock.
  • Use Money Allowance 6 of 6
    Use Money Allowance
    A lot of parents use an allowance as a form of reward system. If your kids get a set of money at the end of the week, but only if they complete certain tasks or chores -- that's a good reward system for the older children.
    Photo credit: photostock.

Photo credit: ©AccustomedChaos

Article Posted 4 years Ago

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