Rewards For Kids – How To Set Up A Reward System To Encourage Kids

Rewards are something special for everyone, especially kids, to cherish for life. A reward for a good thing encourages doing more of it. Here in this article, we will discuss how rewards for kids are important and how should we go about it.

Why Do We Have To Reward Our Kids?

Parenting is not just raising a child with good health and wealth; raising a child with good behaviour is also important. To attain good habits, a good lifestyle, and good moral values, the reward system will help.

Instead of constantly telling and sometimes yelling at our children to correct them, we can simply reward them for doing so. This reward system will help reduce stress for parents.

Benefits of Rewards For Kids

  • Giving rewards for the good things we find in our kids will help them maintain and improve those skills.
    Getting a reward from parents will build self-confidence in kids.
  • When we reward our kids for the good things in them, our kids will know we notice them, care for them, and value them.
  • The reward system will help kids achieve their milestones.
  • The reward system will help to create better bonding.
  • If we continuously reward the good actions of our kids, of course, the actions become their behaviour.
  • Also, the reward system will help a lot to reduce the bad behaviours of our kids.

When To Start A Reward System For Our Kids?

We have a toddler who is 1.9 years old, and we started giving rewards to him at 3 months. It is better to start the reward system at the earliest to make them understand because if we did not correct them at the earliest by giving rewards or something else, they might be confused later.

How To Start?

Every kid and every parent is different. So parents may have their own ideas about implementing a reward system for their kids.

Here are some ideas from my personal experience:

  • We started giving rewards to our baby when he was 3 months old. We encouraged him with claps and cheers when he was trying to roll over. When he learnt to roll over, we praised him. I know this is what every parent does, and, of course, this is a kind of reward for the baby.
  • Knowingly, and often unknowingly, we are giving rewards to our babies. Then we forget to do the same when babies grow up.
  • Praising them is a big reward, and you can offer it to your baby or kid instantly for their good actions.
  • Instant reactions like clapping or pampering with good words will be recorded strongly in their minds.
  • Rewarding everyone in the family for good behaviour and reaching milestones will help the child understand the rewarding system and create a positive environment.

So don’t wait; let’s kick start your rewarding habit as soon as possible.

Some Other Rewarding Ideas

It is very safe to offer intangible gifts as rewards for good actions. Intangible gifts like

  • Praise them!
  • Give them extra playtime.
  • Spending more time on bedtime stories
  • Allow them to choose their menu.
  • Provide them with their favourite snacks.
  • Allow them to do any extracurricular activities, such as dancing, singing, and drawing classes that are available at their discretion.
  • Sometimes we can offer the following gifts as a reward for achieving milestones:
  • Take them on a short trip.
  • Visit the zoo, museum, or theme park.
  • Present them with toys of their choice.
  • Provide them with a cycle.
  • Allow them to have pets.

According to the needs of your kids, choose your reward system.

How I Was Offered A Reward?

When I was a kid, I was offered an award system called “Color Star” for my daily homework monitoring.

Social Studies & So On


My sister, who monitors me, used to give me coloured stars for my homework on this table. If I did well, she would give me a red star; if I did moderately well, she would give me a blue star; and if I did poorly, she would give me a black star.

At the end of the week, if the number of red stars is higher, I will be awarded one piece of cake. If the number of blue stars is higher, I will be given chocolate. If the count of black stars is higher, I will not be awarded, and instead, I have to attend tuition afterwards.

Still, I remember I never got a black star because of tuition fear. This is an old method, but it still works. But parents have to work in a way that’s not boring for the child. Likewise, parents can create their own charts to monitor their children’s performance, and you can award them accordingly.

Parents should understand that while measuring their child’s performance, please don’t mention low or poor performance anywhere, as it will affect the child mentally. This type of rewarding chart will aid in measuring performance in drawing, handwriting, project work, and so on.

How Can You Offer Rewards For Kids?

Toddlers often get hugs, kisses, and claps as rewards. Other than this, you can offer some rewards from my following suggestions.

When it comes to toddlers, instant rewards are the best to be remembered by them.

  • After eating their non-favourite meal (healthy items), give them their favourite snacks or food.
  • After a good brush, you may offer them their favourite healthy sweet. (I usually offer two dates with milk after good brushing and one date with milk after moderate brushing.)
  • After a good bath, allow them to play with warm water. (We usually allow him to sit for 10-15 minutes in warm water after a bath.)
  • Find their favourite picture in the book and surprise them with the toy in the picture. The smile is adorable.
  • I usually say “very well” after his good work, “thank you” after a helping hand, and “good boy” when he behaves well. Sometimes when he behaves well, he himself says “good boy” to him. That’s the outcome of the reward, I thought.

(My toddler loves cows. Wherever he sees a cow picture, he won’t move away. Recently, we surprised him with a cow toy. OMG, I don’t know how to express how happy he was)

Setting up a reward system for a toddler should be a choice for a mother who spends more time with them.

I usually prefer clapping, hugging, kissing, praising, and showing a happy face to them as the best reward for toddlers, and they can easily remember it for practice.

The Risks of A Rewarding System

Everything in the world has its own advantages and disadvantages. It’s nature. When we offer too many awards, kids will focus on the rewards and forget the importance of maintaining or improving good actions.

Even if it is an intangible reward, too much of it can ruin the child. The child will start to expect to be praised all the time. When we offer rewards for kids for good behaviour in front of others, they will start acting for the awards, which is very dangerous.

I can remember an incident here. When my toddler mistakenly said his grandfather’s name as something funny, we all laughed instantly. He began to enjoy it, and he still refers to his grandfather by that name. But he knows the right name. So we should not underestimate the memory of a toddler.

While offering rewards, we must be careful not to direct them in the wrong way. Here’s how you can help your kids make resolutions.

Things To Keep In Mind While Offering Rewards To Kids

  • To encourage good behaviour, we should not encourage even one bad habit. (To encourage a reading habit or something else, we should not offer extra screen time.)
  • They should like the reward we offer them. We should not give them a reward they don’t like.
  • The reward should be given for some particular good actions and achieving some kind of milestone, which has to be decided by the parent and sometimes by the kids. It is dangerous to reward all the actions. Even if it is an intangible reward, too much of it can ruin the child.
  • While offering tangible awards, we must remember that the reward should not ruin our children. (Gadgets, video games, and unhealthy food items are some examples.)
  • The reward must be simple and cost-effective because it is not a one-time offer.

My Personal Recommendations

  • We must pay close attention to our child before offering a reward. We need to know what their good side is and their bad side.
  • When the kid exposes the good side, just praise them.
  • When the kid exposes the bad side, just tell them how to correct it. And, when the kid tries to correct it or correct it a bit, offer some rewards like what you can and what the kid loves.
  • Reward them when they achieve a milestone (decided by the parent and kid). Even if they fail, it is also necessary to offer an award matching their efforts.
  • If you have a toddler, shower them with your unconditional love and provide nutritious meals for them. That is the most appropriate reward for their good deeds.

Happy Parenting!

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Vidhya Malayappasamy
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