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Parenting Dilemma: Rewards for Behavior?

Posted by on Feb. 26, 2014 at 12:00 AM
  • 50 Replies

I picked that image above for this post because I think it sums up a lot of this whole parenting gig. Parenting is never done. I'm always going to be my kid's mom, no matter how old she is, no matter if she becomes a mom herself. It is a constant, continually evolving thing, this role of parenting. My job as a mom, my kiddo, me -- we are all works in progress, right?

From the get-go, discipline is in the front of the Parenting To Do Line. How one does this is a whole other story, one that may change as you get to know your kiddo and that kiddo grows up (and you become, hopefully, more adept at this discipline thing). But it isn't easy.

I agree with Joanie about discipline... I don't reward good behavior, I really try to avoid offering bribes for it. Instead, I tell her I appreciate her good attitude or that added-on "please" and "thank you"  when she does it, especially without my reminding her to do it. But, let's face it, I do remind her.  My trick: I talk about good behavior, about what is expected, or why one behavioral choice is better than another at a different time, not while in the middle of a situation.

It's a bit advice I got early -- set behavior expectations for your kids beforehand. Kids are still entering into new, never-done-before-and-didn't-know-they-existed situations. They need our help with these new encounters...and, sure, with ones they've been in a gazillion times too. Before heading out to a restaurant or to a birthday party or to the airport, I'll matter-of-factly tell Kiddo, "Hey, while we are out and about today, I expect you to have good behavior, remember to say thank you, to look at folks in the eye, (insert whatever behavior is expected)." That way, in the moment, it isn't a surprise for her. If she gets a bit off the "behavioral step," it's easy for me to say, "Hey, babe, remember what behavior we talked about."

It is tricky, super tricky...though, what in parenting isn't?

How do you encourage good behavior?

©iStockphoto.com/Aquir 

by on Feb. 26, 2014 at 12:00 AM
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Replies (1-10):
graycalico
by Gold Member on Feb. 26, 2014 at 12:05 AM
I try to keep things positive. I think acknowledging good behavior is a huge step in the right direction and it encourages good behavior in the future.
TheJerseyGirl
by Silver Member on Feb. 26, 2014 at 6:21 AM

People, teachers, have commented on my boys' behavior and how they wished others would behave that way. My daughter was a somewhat work in progress, but I think is well behaved everywhere but home, lol. I just have never accepted bad behavior from my children. They know what I expect.

cemcnair
by Silver Member on Feb. 26, 2014 at 6:58 AM
We just let our expectations known as well. We do not spank (we occasionally bribe - he's 3, it happens). But mostly, we are just clear about appropriate behavior.
goddess99
by Bronze Member on Feb. 26, 2014 at 8:41 AM

Reminders. It depends on the child but I definitely reward for good behavior.

Madelaine
by Bronze Member on Feb. 26, 2014 at 9:14 AM

By setting a good example

Madelaine
by Bronze Member on Feb. 26, 2014 at 9:15 AM

By staying positive

sarahjz
by Silver Member on Feb. 26, 2014 at 9:21 AM

It is tricky.  Modeling good behavior, clear expectations, sometimes rewards.

nana776
by on Feb. 26, 2014 at 9:28 AM

I agree that telling them ahead of time what is expected has been more successful than chewing them out after the fact. I reward good behavior by simply recognizing it. I want my kids to learn to make good choices because of the good feeling they get when they do they right thing. I think it is the strongest motivator. 

This is something I had to learn. My oldest got the short end of the stick with parenting. He's 14 years older than my second. With him I fell into the sad parenting style of telling him what he couldn't do, and seldom what he could do or what to do instead. 

Miranda1127
by Bronze Member on Feb. 26, 2014 at 10:12 AM

 good advice! Clear expectations are essential in parenting.

othermom
by Gold Member on Feb. 26, 2014 at 10:39 AM

They get rewarded for it sometimes, usually I praise them for it when they behave well. I let them know what I expect from them as well.

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