Making Rewards Work

Have you ever opened a gift from someone and thought, “Boy is this ever ugly! Why didn’t he bother to find out what I like?” you think to yourself. The same goes for rewards. Before a reward is a reward, children must want it. As basic as this sounds, you’d be surprised how often we don’t stop to find out what children want. We assume it must be what every other kid likes, or what we ourselves liked as a kid. The easiest way to find out what children want, is to ask them. They will give you more ideas than you’ll ever need, and may even surprise you at what they come up with. For example, Robert may opt for an hour of basketball with mom or dad over his favorite chocolate bar. Remember to be flexible in your choice of rewards. What worked like a charm one week ago may do nothing for your kid today.