Every child is a storehouse of potential. With the right support, guidance and appreciation they can touch the stars. It is essential to reward good behaviour and performance in a child to encourage them to continue doing so and to give them the wings to grow into well developed and confident humans. Every parent is a child's hero and being praised by one means the world to them. You can devise a reward system to further boost your child's morale. This not only gives them encouragement to excel but also strengthens and cements the bond between you and your child.
The reward can be verbal or material and designed keeping in mind your child's likes and dislikes, award them with what they would value and respect. However you need to keep a good mix of material and verbal rewards otherwise the child might use this as a way to fulfill all their demands. The rewards need to be well spaced and truly deserved otherwise it loses its purpose and becomes a routine practice, not a token of your approval as it's meant to be.
Here are some methods you can employ:
Shower them with affectionate gestures
This is probably the most prized reward a child can get. A simple hug, kiss or high five goes a long way in encouraging them and has the added benefit of strengthening your emotional bond with your child. This also promotes a sense of confidence in them and helps them better their relations with their peers and takes away the fear of interacting with new people or facing an audience.
Give them more of your time
A parent's time and attention is deeply valued by a child. Taking out more time than routine, to do something constructive with your kid leaves a lasting impression in their sensitive minds. Involving them in your daily chores or asking for their help and advice in carrying out a certain task is an excellent way to connect with them. It sends across the message that you find them responsible which makes them feel more positive about themselves.
Let them take a decision for the rest of the family to follow
Indulge in role reversal. Instead of you making decisions for the child to follow let them lead and plan while you comply. It could be deciding where to go out for dinner, or what ice cream flavour to order in. Involving them in the decision making process makes them feel proud. This also generates the feel of being treated as an equal which creates better rapport and relation between you.
Take your child out to their favourite place
Most children have a place or activity they love, usually associated with special celebrations like birthdays or festivals. It can be your neighborhood park, a gaming zone or just a visit to the ice cream store, any place which is dear to them. Taking them there, and allowing them to spend that time as per their liking has an instant impact. They immediately realise and sense your approval towards their behaviour and conduct.
Create a reward chart
Make a chart listing all you expect from the child, in terms of behaviour, chores to be done, school work completion etc. Give a smiley face or star against each task completed satisfactorily and make a tally at the end of the preset time. This gives the child an instant feedback and keeps them motivated to do their best in all they do.
Praise them verbally
Make sure to express appreciation verbally often and freely. If they make the effort to do something you repeatedly ask them to, like getting ready on time for school or tidying up after them, remember to let them know how pleased you are with that. Praise the action rather than the child, this shows them that you don't just nag when instructions are not followed but also notice and applaud when it is.
Give them small unexpected treats
Small treats like chocolates or ice-cream, a small stationary item or maybe a surprise play date with their best friend is a good form of reward. Who does not like surprises, and it's doubly special for these cherubic angels. Show them how you appreciate them and make them feel loved through these small gestures.
Giving small rewards in form of oral praises, small gifts and low value monetary prizes is a great way to appreciate your child, boost their confidence and shape them into loving and caring young adults. However use these rewards in a planned and well thought manner so they continue to carry the importance they should.