Do you like to be rewarded?

Do you like to be rewarded?

Research on how to manage children’s behaviour points to the fact that rewards are more effective than punishments in motivating children and young people to behaviour appropriately.

“…rewards rather than punishments could be the way to encourage good behaviour and discourage bad behaviour because attention is likely to increase its frequency.” (Institute of Education 2008)

“For children who seek attention, being given it even through punishment will be rewarding.” “A better solution is to ignore poor behaviour where possible and instead reward good behaviours, because this will lead to their repetition and bring about change” (Professor Susan Hallam, a leading authority on behaviour and attendance).

So why is it that so often we focus on consequences for poor or inappropriate behaviour? What about rewarding children for their good behaviour – could that bring about change in the way disruptive children behave? Studies show that if attention centres on positive behaviour it can bring constructive change.

This year we have been facilitating training for a group of 40 people who work with children or young people between the ages of 0 – 18. At previous sessions we have considered learning styles and how to prepare and plan for a session. Both of these factors help to create a context which is appropriate and stimulating for children – assisting with behaviour management.

But this week when we gathered we specifically considered how to manage behaviour. We focused on how to reward children as the Elton Report (1989) and the Steer Report (2005) highlight that rewards / punishments should be at a ratio of at least 5:1. We considered tools the leaders could use to reward children.

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We are looking forward to hearing how these reward tools work in the different contexts the people are from. Please pray for these ladies as they start to implement what they learnt and made – for patience, persistence and a change in the children’s behaviour.


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