Incentives can be a powerful tool for motivating your child to work hard. In addition, incentives can provide a reward for working hard, which may help your child develop the habit of working hard in the future.
A good incentive should be something that your child wants and would not normally get, like extra computer time, money or an extra hour of television time.
External rewards, such as money, trophies or trophies are usually not very motivating. These are often referred to as bribes and may be more commonly referred to as bribery.
To motivate your child you must use a positive reinforcement method. This means rewarding your child with something they really want and enjoy. It is important that you do not use the method of negative reinforcement, which is punishing your child for bad behavior or failure.
What are some examples of incentives that you can offer?
Here are some examples of incentives you might use:
If your child wants to play outside with friends after school but has homework and chores to do first, try a reward system where the first task is done quickly and well and then they are free to go play.
You might also offer the reward of watching their favorite television show before they start their homework if they work hard.
Your child may find that doing chores quickly will also make it easier for them to enjoy their favorite show later on.
If your child is struggling with math or reading homework, try offering a reward if they finish early or before bedtime. Extra time on the computer or video game system may motivate them to finish faster.
If your child wants to go somewhere, but doesn’t want to go if they have to go to school on time in the morning, offer a reward for getting up and dressed on time.
When should you use incentives?
Incentive systems can be effective at motivating your child. Choose your reward carefully. It should be something that will motivate your child but not cause problems later on if they don’t get the reward or if they get it too often.
Your child's school performance is an excellent indicator of their motivation level. If you notice that your child is performing poorly, it is time to implement some effective incentives.
It is best to use incentives at times when you want your child to work harder, such as completing chores or doing homework quickly and well.
If you give an incentive for every chore, it may not motivate your child enough when one of the chores is more difficult than the others.
Also, don’t offer an incentive too often. If it happens too much, it won’t seem special anymore and may lose its effect as a motivator.
For example, if you offer an incentive for doing chores each week, it may lose its effect after a while if the incentive isn’t used often enough to be an exciting reward for your child.
Work with your child to set goals and decide what would be a good number of goals that they could meet each week to earn their incentive before asking them about incentives again.
If you use incentives too often, it may cause your child to lose interest in doing the work since they already know that they are going to get the reward for doing it.
How long do incentives last?
If you use incentives, be sure to set a period of time on them. It is best if you can agree with your child on how long the incentive will last and then stick to it.
When the incentive period is over, stop offering the reward for completing work or chores.
This way your child knows that they won’t always get an incentive for doing their work and will start working hard because they want to, not because they are getting a prize for every task.
If you don’t have a time limit, it may cause problems later on when your child expects an incentive every time they complete a task.
For example, if you offer an incentive of extra computer time or extra television time for each chore your child completes during the week
but don’t tell them when the incentive period will end, your child may get upset if he or she doesn’t receive an extra hour of television time one night when he or she finishes chores quickly.
To avoid this problem it is best to set a time limit and stick to it.
How can you use incentives as a parent?
If your child has no chores or responsibility at home, you can start by offering incentives for completing chores. You may want to start small and work your way up if you have never used an incentive system with your child before.
Try offering an incentive for one chore per week then add more chores as your child completes them successfully.
If your child is used to doing his or her homework in the morning, try offering an incentive if he or she gets the homework done quickly and well.
For example, offer a reward if they finish their math homework in 15 minutes instead of 30 minutes during the first week of school.
Your child may be motivated to work faster if they know that they will get extra time on the computer later on that night or weekend.
Once they are able to get their homework done more quickly and successfully, you can stop offering the incentive for it.
Over time your child may begin working hard at their other responsibilities because they realize that they will get a reward for them, too.
Give a right incentive that can elevate your child's positive behavior. An internal motivation will work better than an external one.
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