Making Reward Changes

Making Reward Changes
The first and most important thing you need to do is stop giving material rewards for every little thing. It's an easy trap to fall into, but if you continue to do so, you're child will always want to know "What do I get for it"? You have to take a firm stand that you will not be giving rewards for every little thing.
A second, very easy but powerful tip, is to start switching your pronouns from "I" to "you". Instead of saying "I'm really proud of what you did" switch it to "You should be really proud of what you did". That simple little pronoun reference starts to help build that child to be aware that internally they can be motivated and they don't need the "thing". This will also help the child begin to do internal praise.

At a private little moment when your child does deserve praise and recognition, just walk up and instead of giving them the external "Good job, here's $5.00" say "You know what, you did a fabulous job today because you...worked your hardest...or you hung in there...or you were fabulous on those kicks"...and then say "Did you remember to tell yourself inside your head that you did a good job?" It's a simple little reminder but what you really want is for the child to internally tell himself he did a good job and doesn't need the outside reminders. The sooner you incorporate this, the better.

Be sure to state what you see. When he does something noteworthy, keep your wallet closed and instead use a little judgment statement to say "Oh, you rode your bike all by yourself" or "Wow, you really put a lot of work into that report, good for you". Because stating it helps your child know what you really approve of, what that recognition is, and then they'll be more likely to say it inside their little heads.

Rewarding with material things actually robs the child of wanting to get that internal motivation. The bottom line to this is to fast-forward your child 30 years from now and say what kind of a kid do you want? What you want is a child who can stand up on his own, and is not hooked into wanting a "thing" in order to do so. You want a child who will be self-propelled and jump-start himself because he knows it's the right thing to do.