HOW TO... establish a system of rewards and punishments without real rewards and real punishments

In literature on parenting there are many approaches and teachings in favor of rewards and punishments and against rewards and punishments. We will not be writing about that in this text. We will give you a few advice on how to avoid true rewards and punishments if you maintain that child rearing should be without them.

So, you’re split on how to reward the child for something and not buy it an expensive toy, and also how to “punish” the child for some behavior you dislike without a real punishment (time-out, no cartoons, talking to and similar). 

There are many options, one is the so-called: rewarding charts. That is the option where you don’t actually buy anything for the child, and for punishment you don’t deprive it of anything. How does it then work? 

Here’s an example.

You can find the charts on the internet and print them, and you can also make them (cut them out of a magazine or draw them). 

Those are charts which usually have pictures that children love: pirates and treasure that needs to be gotten to, princess with a castle that needs to be reached and similar. So, in one corner of the chart is a drawing of, for example, a small pirate, and in another is the treasure. Between the pirate and the treasure is the path the pirate must traverse, and along the way are smaller treasures that will lead him to the big one in, for example, 10 to 20 steps. 

Choose a chart with a motive the child will like. 

Glue it on cardboard and stick somewhere visible (refrigerator, wall…). 

Always use a single chart for one thing you want to achieve (for example, if you want your child to always tell you it needs to pee so that it pees in potty, or you wish the child to eat more fruit and similar). 

Every time the child does what you want it to achieve, it is rewarded - that is, it takes a step forward and wins a smaller treasure. The more of those things it does, the more it advances. If it didn’t do it, it is punished by either not advancing or by taking a step back. 

You can use this for different situations that matter – when you wish that your child develops a habit (cleaning up toys, potty training and similar) or not to do something you don’t like (pulls other children’s hair and similar). 

When you finish one chart, set the next goal and make a new one. Good luck!

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