Thursday, April 4, 2013

Bribing VS. Rewarding

We have been talking a lot about setting goals in our house, along with rewarding for good behavior.  Bribing VS. Rewarding.... something that is kind of the same?  It's easy to entice our children to behave how we want them to, in exchange for treats or activities.  Does bribery become an ongoing pattern to teach them to act out for what they want?  I think that generally a bribe is done under duress -right smack in the middle of a situation that your child has sprouted horns and a tail.  It happens so quickly, that all you want to do is change your child's behavior on the spot. So you offer something that you had no previous intention to offer.  Some people would say this would put your child in the driver seat.  However,  I think the use of the reward in this situation is compensating your child for good behavior, rather than being manipulated.  More often than not, I like to reward with activities rather than something tangible.   It's important to think of things that are of value in your child's world (video games, TV time, computer, park, movies, etc.).  We try to work towards earning the more valued things in our home -which unfortunately is usually technology.
I'm sure this is a topic which can be much debated by moms & dads.  We have been trying to teach goal setting in our house.  In life, it's important to set goals and it sure feels good when you reach them.  I came home the a couple months ago to something my hubby was working on with our son.

The Goal:
Harry Potter Lego.
To reach his goal, Brayden must earn 200 points.  Below are pictures of the point system.  I was very proud of my hubby -it's a very cute idea!  I know it was killing him to not give the Lego to Bray.  However, it was fun to watch him earn points. So, the whole idea is to "earn" points daily toward his goal -the Lego.  The ways he could earn the points were by helping out in the house -beyond his normal responsibilities, doing a acts of kindness, and good behavior. 
Yes, we have a basketball hoop in our kitchen & a motivational quote :) Doesn't everyone?

Bonus Points!

  Let me tell you, he went ABOVE and BEYOND everyday trying to earn every last point!  It did get to a point that we had to cap off how many to earn in a day.... he was acting like my king, ready to serve me hand and foot!  Brayden had been begging for this Lego.  We do not allow electronics in our house to be used during the weekday... no Wii, Xbox, iPad, computer, NOTHING.  He spends a lot of time working on his Lego creations, and is always asking for new ones.  Kudos to daddy for the time and effort!