Friday, October 26, 2012

It's Not Called Bribery; It Is a Reward System!

So my children happen to know about a particular reward they will receive if they behave in a certain manner. Is that bribery?

By some magic unknown to me, my children went to bed at naptime yesterday without a single problem, issue, scream, fight, etc. I was so thrilled, that after they woke up, they each got a piece of candy and we spent an extra long time playing outside. I told them that I was so proud of them for behaving during naptime and that I would be happy to do special things for them all the time if they are such good boys. Oops. What they heard was "mommy will give us treats if we stay in the bed." So guess what happened at nap today? Two smart boys inform me that they will be getting a treat if they are good for nap.

I had to make a split-second decision. Do I agree to their demand request and say they can have a treat, or do I tell them that they need to behave no matter if they get a treat or not? Well, I kind of did a little of both. I told them that only good children, who behave, get rewards and that we will always do something special if they follow the rules. It might not be candy or going outiside, but when they make me proud, I will be more excited to do fun things. I then suggested that they ride outside on their Power Wheels (something we haven't done in a while).

Did it work? Well, as I write this, those two special angles are sound asleep in their beds. They did not put up a fight at all. Woo hoo! Now I have to tell myself that I did not bribe them into listening, but that I instilled in them the benefits of following the rules and being good boys. And I never really told them that taking a nap means getting a treat (although I did mention that if they didn't stay in bed, they would not be riding trucks later today)... :)

I try to tell them that behaving and doing the right thing will always make me happy. Hopefully, they will begin to want to be on their best behavior simply because it makes them feel good about themselves. Right?!

Have any good tips on what behavior management worked for your family? Share them below.

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