Health & Medical Parenting

Positive Effects of Rewards on Behavior

    Increases Good Behavior

    • Behavioral psychologist B. F. Skinner studied the effects of rewarding children. He concluded that using rewards with children increases the likelihood of good future behaviors. Most people are positively motivated by a good outcome, and children catch onto this concept very quickly. If they are highly motivated by the reward, children will work incredibly hard to achieve it.

    Increases Self-Esteem

    • Rewards are a concrete way of communicating to your child how you want her to succeed. When she achieves the goal, you smile at her, praise her or give her a toy. All of these actions make her feel good about herself in a very enduring type of way. By contrast, if your child is unsure about she needs to do to be successful, she may develop insecurities that can lead to poor self-esteem.

    Closer Relationship

    • In addition to making your child feel good, rewards make you feel successful as a parent. Giving rewards to someone for a job well done is a very pleasant experience. Because you are feeling good, you want to spend more time with your child, viewing his behaviors more positively and growing closer to him as he bonds more closely with you.

    Enhanced Performance

    • Rewards can lead to better performance in children because a positive spiral is initiated. Your child feels good because she got a reward; she repeats the positive behavior to get another reward and feels increasingly better about herself over time. With practice, she becomes adept at performing targeted behaviors.

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