Incentives, a Powerful Parenting Tool

Everybody realizes that incentives are a great way to get results. How many of us would willingly hop out of bed and go to work every day were it not for the lure of the paycheck, or monetary incentive awaiting us at the end of the week.

We recently got a reminder of the importance of tangible incentives for our kids. Allow me to explain. Less than one month ago, I was fighting daily with Natalie about her reading. She wanted nothing to do with improving her reading or reading anything on a daily, or even weekly basis. She was fine to be read to though. She claimed that she already knew how to read, and didn’t need to improve at all. We struggled like this throughout most of the summer.

On October 1st, she came home from school with a “monthly reading log”. Each child in the class was instructed to record, in minutes that amount of time they had spent reading, or being read to. Each student who met their montly goal of 200 minutes was promised a gift certificate for a free pizza. Natalie was so excited she read for 64 minutes the first night! I was flabbergasted! It is now October 27th and Miss Natalie has just hit 500 minutes. 500 minutes! This from the child who balked reading even 5 minutes less than a month ago!

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