Is Rewarding Your Child Actually Bad for Them?

Imagine having a remote control to manage and direct your kid’s behavior.

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Clean your room. Done.

Do your homework. Done.

Go to bed. Done.

Wouldn’t life be a breeze? No more nagging. No more heated arguments. No more talking back.

It’s a joke of course—or is it?

Life would certainly be easier if our kids always did what we asked.

But then they’d be more like robots and less like the complex, wonderful humans we know and love.

In my TEDxChandlersCreek presentation, “The Power of You: Surviving & Transcending Unconscious Parenting,” I talk about how the reward and punishment method can be similar to using a remote control on our kids.

 
When we try to manipulate our children’s behavior by rewarding actions that we deem “good” and punishing those we see as “bad,” we activate the Three R’s: Resistance, Rebellion, and Retaliation.

Why?

Because rewarding “good” behavior tells our kids they only deserve praise or love when they accomplish specific goals or act in a socially acceptable manner.

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On the flip side, when we punish so-called “bad” behavior, we fail to address the unmet need fueling the misdeed.

Ignoring the messages behind our kids’ actions inadvertently tells them that they don’t matter.

Relying on rewards and punishments gives them the impression that we don’t care if they’re sad, angry, or lonely—we just want them to behave well. Like robots.

I myself was a product of unconscious parenting. I had to learn how to honor my inner voice after being taught to suppress my authentic self in the name of “good” behavior.

I talk about my own journey and so much more in the presentation, which you can watch right here.

Love and Blessings,

Katherine


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P.S.- I recently had the privilege of speaking with LaWann Moses on the More Than a Mother podcast. Together, we had a powerful dialogue about the underlying issues that many parents are dealing with in their relationships with their children. Check out the episode to learn more!

 

3xTEDx Speaker, Media Contributor, parenting coach and mom of two. Helping families thrive for over 20 years using the Guidance Approach to Parenting.