We often use incentives to help our kids through their day, to help them stay on track and to encourage them to keep trying. But with so many incentives. the clutter builds up quickly and we want to be careful not to promote collecting and hoarding at a young age. I prefer to use incentives and prizes that are not tangible goods but rather things that can be earned that promote social interaction, independence and increased self-esteem. Tristan Reilly, one of our special education teachers has some great ideas for this kind of incentive:
Use the “teacher chair” for the day
Ten minutes after school with:
- A magazine
- Computer time
- A book of choice to read
- Ten extra minutes in the sensory room
- Ten extra minutes with the mp3 player
- 5 minutes walking loops on the track
- 10 minutes on the swings
- Adding 30 minutes to their bedtime on a Friday or Saturday night for a week of good behavior in school.
- Allowing them to pick a new app that's fun and geared towards learning.
- An agreed upon independent walk, even if it's small like getting the mail alone.
- Extra time on the computer or game console for a day without shutdowns, tantrums, aggression etc...
Kids want time with us, time to do their favorite activities and a way to gain some level of freedom more than they want “stuff." Find ways of using incentives to give them ways to feel good about themselves. We use external motivators because they work but we want to be careful not to use incentives that build up in closets or under beds only to clutter their environment. Spending special time with your child for a job well done will go much farther than anything you could buy from a store.
Manager of PWS Services
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