What About Rewards?


So what do you think about rewards?  I have friends who swear by charts and tokens and beads. I am not so sure. Thoughts?

Here are the questions that I ask when folks bring up rewards: When do the rewards end? What happens when they do? Is your child making positive choices because he is learning about cause and effect, or because he wants things?

Each family has to choose its own path, but if asked about rewards, I say that I am not a fan. Children, and all people for that matter, need to understand that their choices affect their day, their life, themselves and other people.

They need to learn that actions have reactions. When the rewards end, will your child make the best choices? Is she extrinsically motivated, basically motivated by things? Or intrinsically motivated by self?


When she goes out in the world and has to make choices, will she be able to make positive ones without reward, or will she always be motivated by looking for the prize?

Discipline is about life lessons. If your child cleans up his toys, he gets to move on to another activity. If not, he is stuck where he is, or that toy is put away if it is too hard to clean and take responsibility for. Plate thrown on the floor at dinner? Then the meal is over.

There are many logical consequences that can be found that make for long-lasting life lessons that teach children that their choices have consequences, and they have to think about the road that they journey down.

So again I end with the questions: When do rewards stop and what happens when they do?

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Brandi Davis, ACC, is a professional Parenting Coach, Parent Educator, and Author of O.K. I’m A Parent Now What? She can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and be sure to catch her parenting podcasts on iTunes. The goal of Brandi’s practice is to bring respect, calm communication, teamwork, and FUN into the home or classroom. To discover all that Child and Family Coaching can bring to your family stop by www.childandfamilycoaching.com.

The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the blog contributor’s. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider. Writers may have conflicts of interest, and their opinions are their own.

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One thought on “What About Rewards?

  1. Hmmmmmm…they never stop they change. Rewards are not the problem. Taking the time to teach the next step, self responsibility, as per Brandi’s suggestions. Hopefully children become motivated by self…being proud of an accomplishment. Then again… we adults gets rewards. When we work we get paid. When we do good work at school we get a good grade. When we graduate we get a diploma.

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