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Rewarding Your Child - Rewards That Work

Updated on February 22, 2013

Using Rewards Systems With Your Children

The first thing I need to say, I am not a perfect parent by any means. Children will challenge you and you will challenge your children. But how can you turn a challenge into a fun activity?

There are many different options out there - Star Charts, marble jars, calendars and chore charts. The options are endless. Sometimes children just need to see first hand that they are actually working towards something.

Below are some ideas to get the rewards started.

Getting Children to do Their Chores

Visable charts are a great way for your children to see their goal and what is left to reach it. Children love visual props. When they see that they are accomplishing something, they are willing to work harder towards it.

One of the hardest things to get your children to do is chores. But once they get used to the routine, they are more willing to actually do the chore. They can see what they have accomplished by their own surroundings being neater and they can feel proud of what they have done.

But, the hardest part, is getting them to start doing the chores in the first place. Giving them something to work towards makes it easier to convince them to complete the requested chore.

Star Charts - A great visual to use. They can pick the colors they want of stars and each day when they have completed what was asked of them, let them put the sticker on. They have earned it!

Chore Chart - I find that magnetic ones work best.  With the magnetic options, each Sunday, have you child pick out what they want to be responsible for that next week.  With this it teaches them independence and responsibility. 

Marble Jar - This is what we still currently use in our home.  Marble reward systems are great.  Each time they do a chore, they add a marble to their jar.  Once they have reached what the goal was, they receive that reward.  We place the reward behind the jar, it could be a book, game or toy that they want.  Again, it gives them the visual of what they are working towards.

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Different Reward Ideas

One thing my kids are always wanting, video games.  Now, I don't always reward them with a video game, but at times, it is a good option.  Below I have listed some other great ideas for rewards:

  • Going to a movie
  • Going to dinner - their choice
  • Going to the amusement park
  • Going to a sports game
  • Spending one on one time with just them doing what they want
  • Going to the park
  • Getting a new Video Game
  • Earning more time on the TV
  • A weekend without chores
  • Camping
  • Toy of their choice
  • Having a sleepover
  • Money (allowance)
  • Decorating their room
  • Buying a new movie

The list is endless. When they feel they have accomplished something, they will feel much better about it and build their self esteem.  It will encourage them to want to do things for themselves and not always doing things because they were told to.

Using Reward Charts For Behavior

Being rewarded for good behavior feels great for a child. But, unfortunately, many of us will only make it known when they are showing bad behavior. This isn't something we do on purpose, we just sometimes get lost in our lives and sometimes we just expect the good behavior. But when bad behavior begins, the best way to get rid of it, is to reward them when they are good.

The same charts can be used that you use for chores, just change it up a bit. For good behavior, add at check, star or marble. But, when bad behavior comes out, they also have to see that a check, star or marble will be taken away. I have found that the marble system works great for this.

We all had to learn right from wrong, but there was always consequences when the bad came out front. A negative situation can always be turned around into a positive one if they learn from the experience. As I had mentioned before, visual references are always best to use with children. Seeing what they are working towards gives them something to work for. It is no different then us receiving a paycheck from working hard for a week. If we didn't get a paycheck for the work we did, would we continue working there?

But no matter how you look at it - we all still want a pat on the back every once and a while!

Do you have any ideas for reward systems for our children?

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    • arusho profile image

      arusho 5 years ago from University Place, Wa.

      Great ideas, I was just thinking of doing a reward system for my 6 year old daughter. Do you have a picture of your marble jar?

    • cashmere profile image

      cashmere 5 years ago from India

      I love the idea of the marble jar. So far I've been trading promises of special food treats and I know that's not healthy

    • RedElf profile image

      RedElf 5 years ago from Canada

      Interesting. There were certain chores we were required to do - period - and our allowance was linked having done them, but only vaguely. Once we were old enough to babysit outside the home, the allowance went away, but our "chores" did not.

      Our year-end report cards, however, were directly linked to a monetary reward - As were worth $5, Bs $1, and Cs were good for 50 cents. We were not straight-A students so Dad felt pretty safe offering 5 bucks for an A. It was a great incentive system! I really cleaned up in Grade 11.

    • Lita C. Malicdem profile image

      Lita C. Malicdem 6 years ago from Philippines

      My daughters are now grown-up. I'm afraid this reward business works on me, like, I can have my cone of ice cream or a cup of yogurt, etc., if I have consistent daily lower blood glucose count. I get the reward after good results of my monthly checkup. LOL! It's nice to feel young again and pampered, too!

    • profile image

      Anna Palmer 6 years ago

      Although I call rewards celebrations I agree with what you have written above. I am launching a Marble Jar iPhone app mother's day 2011 if you or your readers would like to be beta