Monday, August 26, 2019

Reward Right

Using rewards is a common parenting technique and one that can work quite well.

It is important to remember to use rewards sparingly so that you don't train your child only to do things when there is a reward. Many of the things you want to teach your child are life lessons such as compassion, conscientiousness, generosity, and faith-building. If you reward these things, you run the risk of destroying their natural desire to do them. 

Likewise, if we always reward a child with a reward that they may like, but one that may not offer any other benefits, we are missing the opportunity to do more. For instance, rewarding a child with video game time gives them only passive entertainment. 

Consider some of these options of things to do with you that provide a reward and also some physical or social-emotional health benefits:

1. Baking
2. Reading a book
3. Playing a game outside
4. Completing a puzzle
5. Attending a play
6. Building, sewing, or creating something
7. Doing something kind for a neighbor
8. Contacting a grandparent for a visit
9. Surprising a parent or sibling with a note they will find later.
10. Creating something to give to friends

When we interact with our children, we improve their language, emotional regulation, and social skills. We also have the opportunity to share our faith. These small interactions will build a strong relationship with our child that will reap benefits long after the video game has been forgotten. 

Weary Joy: The Caregiver’s Journey
Concordia Publishing House
Available September 24, 2019 
Words of humor, encouragement, and faith for those who care for a loved one.


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