Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Alternative Rewards

This past week, we visited a new (to us) toy store in Annapolis. We had been there once before, a few weeks ago. The store is amazing--so many fun things to look at and play with. It's so enchanting that I even want to bring everything home!
While in this store (we've been there twice) the girls did an incredible job of looking and playing and enjoying. And, at the same time, they did not whine or demand a single thing! The first time we visited the store, Duncan was with us. We marveled together at how nice our visit was and how we would definitely return again, based on how well the girls behaved. The most recent time, my mom was with us, and we observed, once again, how pleasant it was to be in the store with Amelie and Violet.
At that point, I decided I wanted to reward them in some way. But how? I didn't want to buy them a toy. That would set a precedent of good behavior equals toy. Not good. I didn't want to buy them food. I have issues with food and don't mind rewarding with a treat sometimes, buy I don't want every reward to be edible for my children.
Then it occurred to me. Our next stop was Whole Foods. And Whole Foods has the most gorgeous selection of flowers. I'd let them each pick out a bunch (within reason) that we could bring home, look at, and remember why we have them. Perfect.

Amelie chose the sunflowers. The are locally grown and were only 6.99 for the bunch of seven flowers. Violet chose the gorgeous orange lilies that were a little more than four dollars for the bunch. So eleven dollars later, we have a more-short-term-than-a-toy but more-long-term-that-a-cookie reward for exemplary behavior in the toy store.

I'm wondering--what alternative methods do you have for rewarding your children? Is there something that you've done or are doing that really seems to work? I'd love to know. So share away!


Lynn said...

I hope I can remember to come back here to read the comments so I can glean from the advice I am sure others will post.

Adeline is still pretty little to get the concept of rewards, but she responds well to verbal praise.

Annie said...

The way to Aiden's heart is food. It is very challenging for me to find other rewards for him. I've tried offering picking a fun park to play at, having a friend over to play, the age-old sticker idea, verbal praise - of course -, privileges, etc. .....and sometimes they will work. But he will do ANYTHING for a single gummy bear. So about once every couple of days (or more often when necessary) I just go ahead and give him a gummy bear or M&M. I hope he will grow out of it, but for now, I'm trying not to worry too much about it?!
Pass along any other new ideas! I love the flowers, too...but I try to think of things that don't cost any money, if at all possible.
My other friend does a $1 carousel ride at a local mall. I think that is a great idea...but I really love your flower idea, too.
It's just hard sometimes to think of a good reward. I could use all the ideas I can get! :)