The ADHD Smarter Parenting’s Podcast

Ep #60: Moving from consequences to rewards

January 15, 2020

When giving Effective Negative Consequences, there are things that parents should never use as these are basic rights that children are entitled too. They are common sense things but include access to healthy foods, clothing, education, safety, shelter, and sleep.

When giving effective consequences, it’s essential to make sure you are not infringing on their rights. Taking away fundamental rights will create considerable problems in your relationships and could have other, unforeseen, consequences.

There are things that kids would like to tell you are basic rights that aren’t. Access to cell phones, video games, computer time, time with friends, use of the car, fancy clothing, or junk food are not basic rights. Those things are privileges and absolutely could be used as an Effective Negative Consequence.

This means you can’t withhold dinner, which is a basic right, but you could withhold a dessert or treat as those aren’t basic rights.

When making Consequences Effective, it’s important to use the five components of the behavior skill of Effective Negative Consequences. We discussed the five components in Episode #55.  We discussed the five components of Effective Positive Rewards in Episode #56. Review those podcasts if you need help making rewards or consequences effective.

While Effective Negative Consequences are valid and needed, parents will find that Effective Positive Rewards is more powerful in increasing positive behavior.

Every time a parent gives a child a consequence, they are creating a divide between their themself and their child. Shifting from a negative mind frame (Effective Negative Consequences) to a positive mind frame (Effective Positive Rewards) will be more beneficial in increasing positive behavior.

Effective Positive Rewards shows a child what they can gain by behaving a certain way, and that is much more powerful than what they could lose.

For example, if your child struggles with doing their homework, telling them they could earn 30 minutes of screen time is more effective than saying they’d lose 30 minutes of screen time.

Effective Positive Rewards helps a child take ownership of their behavior, especially if they have a say in what rewards they can earn.

Many parents have found our free Behavior Contract to be effective in giving child ownership of their behavior as it spells out the four rewards or the one consequence a child could earn.

It will take an effort to move from a mind-frame of consequences to rewards, but we promise that it will be worth the effort. 

For questions about making rewards or consequences effective in your situation, join the Smarter Parenting Club.

Help the ADHD Smarter Parenting Podcast continue. Donate today!

Play this podcast on Podbean App