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6.09.2008

Punishment and Rewards

Punishment is such a tricky thing. Some forms work for some kids but not others. We've found with our oldest that counting to 3 and then timeout works best, but with our daughter that isn't as affective.
And of course sometimes the best way to get your child to do something is by rewarding their good behavior... or bribing them to do something. Here the rewards always end up being a sugary treat.
So 2 questions this week. First, what forms of punishment work best for your kids? And second, what rewards do you use that won't give your kids cavities?

5 comments:

Anna said...

Punishment: for the 2 year old we count to three and if she isn't minding/listening she goes to time out...the basement bathroom (no window) with the door shut and lights off, you have to make it unappealing. If she hits her sister she goes straight there. For the 1 year old I put her on my lap and I cross her arms tighter than when she folds her arms to pray, she just sits there and kicks her legs but she won't do it again...like turn the x-box or wii on and off.
Rewards: the two year old gets a quarter when she does her chores or does extra things to help me. When she reaches $10 she pays tithing and we go buy a toy. SHe is currently saving up for a princess barbie.

David and Shelly said...

Have you heard about the "Love and Logic" books by Jim and Charlies Fay? There are a couple for different ages and the one for early childhood (birth to 6 years) is great! It is short and a quick read. I recommend it to anyone with kids. I has great principles and gives you lots of ideas on how to motivate kids to make good choices as well as to help them learn what they did wrong with real consequences. It also helps the parents keep their cool and not get so upset when something goes wrong. I've used the principles with Charlie and they have worked well so far. For example, throwing food off the tray. I started early when he first started doing this. One warning and if he does it again, "Oh, that's too bad, lunch is over" and down he goes. He's learned that I mean business when he drops food off his tray. This is just one example of many. But I've heard from others that they've used the principles and they have worked. TRY IT!

Bridget said...

This is probably one of the hardest things about parenting - helping your kids learn right and wrong. Another good book (it's more of a workplace book, but has lots of parenting examples) is Punished by Rewards. He suggests that if you have to give a reward, "bribe", then make it something that you want to encourage - like a book, notebook for coloring, etc. If you give something like candy, then he suggests that kids just learn to go through the motions of what they're supposed to be doing just to get the reward - instead of really learning to understand why they should be doing things. We've tried to do this with our 3-year-old by chosing bribes that make sense. Also, if it's something she can hold and examine while it's still in the wrapper this works great for sticker chart rewards (she can open it when the chart is full).

For punishment, we also count and then if she doesn't listen she goest to timeout. We just have her sit in the corner and make her count to 30 (when she can count, that usually means that she's calmed down). Another really important thing for us is after a time-out getting down on her level and having her tell us what she did wrong and either apologize or make appropriate amends. And, then of course give a big hug so that she knows it's not her we don't like, just the behavior. And, while time-outs are great, the best punishments are always ones that have a logical conclusion to the bad behavior to teach cause and effect. Like if they're banging a spoon on something breakable, the spoon is taken away. Oh, punishment, it's definitely one of my least favorite things about being a mom!

Cassi said...

That's a good idea to have her count to 30 since they do have be calm to count that high! Our time out is in a chair facing the wall or in their room sitting on their bed. And usually being "put" on time out is more the punishment then atually being on time out.
I have heard about Love and Logic a little, I'll have to check it out!
Other rewards that we use are computer games, getting to pick out the movie to watch, getting to be the one to run errands with daddy,free kid cookie at Target (oh wait that's sugary... whoops), etc.
Keep the ideas coming! :)

The Paynes said...

We take away privaliges. Like TV time or dessert. We also use time out but for our 5 1/2 yr olds that doesn't seem to help a whole lot. No tv get's things done. We also set standards like no tv till homework is done, no dessert if dinner isn't eaten and the like. Early bedtime is also a big threat. They don't like going to bed early. We reward by going to grandma's, having a friend over, going to the library. And baking(sugar) is a lot of fun for them. Find what is important to them, and restrict it if need be. This is the most exhausting part of parenting for me. You have to always be on your game!