As parents, we all want to hear good reports about our child’s behavior at school. We look for smiley faces on behavior calendars, gold stars on foreheads and prizes from the treasure box. In all of our excitement, we also need to remember that when our kids have a great day at school, they deserve a pat on the back at home, too. This not only shows that we are proud of our children’s accomplishments, it also supports the connection between home and school.

How can we reward good kids without breaking the bank or giving in to their sweet tooth every day?

Here are a few ideas:

  1. Extra Screen Time. We all know that kids need to be active, and to play outside. So as parents, we need to monitor how much screen time our children get each day, either on the computer or on TV. Use this time as a reward. For instance, good behavior at school might earn enough time to watch one episode of a favorite show. Or, screen time might be earned 10 or 15 minutes at a time, and saved up to be able to see a special movie over the weekend.
  2. Playdates. Your child might want to earn a playdate with a friend by showing good behavior at school all week. This gives both kids something to work for and look forward to each day.
  3. Saturday on the Go. Positive school behavior could earn a special event or outing on Saturday. Ask your child what he would like to do. Go to a movie? Grab a pizza? Go to the arcade? Have a day at the beach? Visit the zoo? Kids are more likely to work for a reward that is important to them.
  4. Special Privileges. Does your child always want to stay up late on Friday nights? Does she want to skip making the bed once in awhile? Would she like to take care of the neighbor’s gerbil while they are away? Does she want to talk on the phone? Would she like to choose the video for family movie night? Use these privileges as rewards.