Rewards, Discipline and Children

Rewards, Discipline and Children

Raising children is nothing short of a challenge, and its takes every inch of love, patience, determination and intuition to make the task successful and the relationship stronger than ever.

While there are set rules and procedures to make different procedures work, there are no definite guidelines on how to raise children perfectly. Every child is different with a unique nature, yet there are some general tips which explain the behavior of the juvenile ones and also instruct you about the best ways to keep a check and get assistance in disciplining your children.

The key is to understand your child’s needs, and try to motivate them to practice good behavior, live a disciplined life and grow up to be healthy and responsible individuals. How you do this is the challenge and how effective are your endeavors are, is what matters.

When it comes to motivating and disciplining children, giving rewards to infuse positive behavior is the first thing that comes to mind. The effectiveness of the strategy has been under study for quite some time.

Are Rewards A Good Strategy Choice?

When we talk about positive reinforcement and motivating children to behave in a specific manner, the reward strategy is the first one that comes to mind for most parents. Many parents want to inspire their children to make the right choices by guiding them by offering rewards for good behavior.

The idea behind the reward strategy is that children will do and behave in the right way, if they expect a reward for it, and with the course of time, the right actions will become a part of their personality and habit. This way, after some time, even without any reward, the children will continue to behave in the right way and do the right thing, since they will become in the habit of doing so.

Once good habits are established, they usually last for a lifetime. The trickiest part is to make the children keep practicing them in the first place. Most children have a mind of their own and generally don’t want to tidy up their toys and squabble about sharing their things with their siblings or other kids. A reward for doing something good motivates them and serves as the candy they will get for keeping all their toys in place and not fighting with the kids from next door when they come over to play.

For example, a parent might tell the child to pick up all their toys scattered over the living room floor and put them in the toy basket to get a nice cookie in return. Or young kids might be motivated to finish up their green vegetables at dinner time to enjoy their favorite dessert afterwards. Any act which is prompted by the lure of a reward, no matter how big or small, is part of the reward strategy.

But while offering rewards to the child is a good idea to infuse some good habits and sense of right and wrong, there is some speculation about the efficacy of the reward strategy.

Some parents worry that the reward strategy is quite similar to that of offering a bribe, and that the practice actually introduces wrong ideas to young minds. Experts argue that bribes are offered in advance when you want the kid to do something, while the rewards are given as a gift after the deed has been performed, and helps stimulate good behavior in kids. Offering your child to choose what they want for dinner because they helped you do chores, is a good way of rewarding them for their positive actions.

Yet, while rewards are an effective way of reinforcing good behaviors, it is also important not to overdo it. Rewards prove very effective in the initial phase, but it is a good idea to think of some alternative method if parents feel that they are having a need to use them too often. Other ways and methods can also be explored for prompting a child to adopt good behaviors and act in the right way.

Does The Reward Strategy Help With Discipline?

One major reason that parents cite for using the reward strategy is that they find it a good way of enforcing discipline into the life of their young children. Discipline is important in life, and teaching children about how to enforce it, is key to their future success. Habits formed in the earlier years of life usually last, and that is why most parents want their children to understand the value of discipline in their lives. And how do they do that? Most of them use the reward strategy.

Any parent, who wants to teach self-control, and help their children develop good social skills for life, will use different ways to do so. The reason why rewards are used to enforce discipline is that children respond more agreeably to a rule if they feel that they will get rewarded for doing the right thing at the end.

Many use reward charts to keep a track of the positive actions of their children and to keep them disciplined, and then praise, appreciate and reward them later.

Do you want your child to self-check their daily tantrums? Do you want the kids to help with simple chores around the house? Do you want the children to end the morning mayhem of getting up and being ready for school every day, and completing all their homework for school? If you need to teach discipline in the early years, then using the reward strategy pays dividends for most parents.

Linking the right behavior, and a disciplined lifestyle, with gradual improvement and positive rewards which act as the driving force for each habit, works wonders for many parents. It helps them to teach the child how to adopt good behavior and gradually understand the concepts of right and wrong.

The reward strategy is a good idea until you don’t overuse it. The connection between teaching disciplines in life to giving rewards for good deeds is deep and highly effective.

© Teresa Boardman, Nanny Options.

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