I attend a once-a-week parenting class, it is a 14-weeks course. We are in the 10th week. In the 5th week, the topic was Incentives and Rewards. The class was about how to reward our children when they do
It doesn’t necessarily mean that the reward has to be material and it can be sometimes. The instructors just encouraged us to make conscious efforts to encourage, acknowledge and praise our children when they do good and have a reward system in place for such good behaviours.
The instructors always lay emphasis that the parenting isn’t a one rule fits all, meaning that what will work for parent A, may not work for parent B and vice versa. Aside the facilitators’ trainings, we all have interactions with each parent sharing their personal stories and experiences, hereby making us all learn from one another. We also use about one quarter of the class to watch videos on parenting with real parents and children playing out the everyday parenting experiences.
So I reward my children with things as basic as a hi-five, a tight hug, few cents to put in their piggy bank, a gift from a dollar store, a special outing to a place of their choice e.t.c.
In other for our children not to think we are ‘bribing’ them to do good and behave appropriately, we should make it clear to them that doing good is not negotiable. They are expected to behave well, whether we have a reward system in place or not. So I made that distinction for my children, so they don’t go thinking I owe them when they do good or act accordingly. No doubt, our children can sometimes go off the radar and act in unpleasant ways sometimes. All we need to do is continue to lead them aright and don’t be too hard on them when they sometimes act silly, especially for young children as the parenting class is mainly centered on children 0-5 years.
As part of our rewards system, I took my children to Hop Skip Jump about 3 weeks ago. Hop Skip Jump is an indoor playground in Halifax; a place my children really like. We went with another beautiful family.
We were given a sticker chart in the parenting class, a tracker which I got stickers for, so as to consciously note when my children do good. So for example, if they tidied up their room very well, eat on time, get dressed within a specified time e.t.c, they get a sticker which they place on the sticker chart.
Parenting is fun and sweet but also comes with its challenges, but I cannot even complain. I am proud, thankful and grateful for been a parent.
My husband has only been able to attend with me once because he takes our son for his soccer practice. I also think I need the class more because I must say my husband is a more patient parent. I am not entirely very patient and I must say that this course is helping me greatly in many areas of parenting. Another good time about this course is that they also provide child care support for our children while we comfortably attend the class and they also provide light refreshments.
I am very grateful for this course, which by the way is free of cost and it’s been sponsored by the Nova Scotia government and conducted by one of the community centres in Halifax.
Below are more images from our Hop Skip Jump outing. I will be sharing some videos on my social media pages.