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    Tool 11 … Reward systems

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    A summary of ideas for discussion
     

    • Rewards are helpful as part of the process of reinforcing good routines and learning expected behaviours.
       
    • The suggestion here is to not go overboard with rewards. Eventually when a child normally meets a reasonable expectation, a friendly smile, a firm thank you or a little affirming story will be enough to let your child know they are on track. With this in mind, use rewards wisely.
       
    • Soft rewards ~ hard rewards ~ services ~ privileges ~ cumulative rewards.
       
    • This is an S9 tool
       

There are no rewards or punishments …
only consequences.
‣‣‣ William Ralph

Don’t go overboard with rewards.

Eventually when a child normally meets a reasonable expectation, a friendly smile and firm thank you or a little affirming story (See Tool #22 Descriptive Recognition) will be enough to let your child know they are on track. With this in mind, use rewards wisely.

There are five different sorts of rewards:

Soft rewards

  • word stories of encouragement that describe what it is that is helpful and healthy and how you are thinking/feeling
  • a hug
  • a heartfelt thank you
  • a two thumbs up
  • a smile
  • any ‘sign language’ gesture you invent with a child to use when you catch them doing something right
  • others?

 

Hard rewards

  • money
  • stickers
  • food (debate rages!!)
  • others?

 

Services

  • breakfast in bed
  • chores done for you
  • having your room cleaned up for you
  • others?

 

Privileges

  • stay up late
  • choose a treat destination for the family
  • name and picture on the wall, special seat
  • others?

 

Cumulative rewards

  • star charts
  • buttons in a jar
  • others?

 

Cumulative rewards have the advantage that some ‘stars’ can be taken away as part of bad consequences.

A technical term for a cumulative reward system is a ‘token economy’ where saved tokens can be exchanged for other reinforcers . This can be set up as part of the agreement.

While these systems may be easy to set up they are harder to adhere to for some of us ‘non-systems’ type people. Sometimes just the idea of them works. Sometimes our children will help us stick to them.

Most recent edit: 19FEB15~pd

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