physical objects (i.e. toys and stickers) or desired activities (i.e. time on the computer) given to children by caregivers when a desired task or behavior is completed as requested. These rewards are useful in promoting positive behavior, particularly behavior that has been difficult for the child to perform in the past. Often tangible rewards are paired with praise, so that eventually the concrete reward can be “faded”(used less and less) and the praise is rewarding enough to encourage continued positive behavior.
What should my therapist be doing?
- Explaining the appropriate logic behind using reward systems and addressing any concerns you have about “bribing” your child
- Helping you establish a rewards system to use with your child
- Addressing any concerns you or your child may have about the rewards system
What should I be doing?
- Rewarding your child immediately after he performs a desired behavior
- Being patient with your child and praising your child’s efforts
- Asking questions of your therapist as needed (e.g., How long does it take to see improvements in my child’s behaviors?)
How will I know it is working?
- Your child engages in positive behaviors more often
- Your child is more motivated to behave positively in order to receive a reward
- There is an overall improvement in your relationship with your child