This is why rewarding kids backfires.. Life becomes so much easier!

How do we help parents get the best out of rewards?

We are constantly getting messages from families at our office to tell us how their kids are behaving. Recently, we got a message from a mom who knows the importance of limiting screen time, but they were traveling so that was mom’s best option to keep her kiddo entertained during the trip.

It wasn’t a surprise to her or any of us that the next day he was throwing tantrums for no reason. He was out of control and just not listening.

We understand that when we have these triggers in our life, we experience the repercussions. His body was flooded with that intensity of the screen all day, so his body chemicals are all shifted and he needed to detox from that. This is a real thing!

So with reward systems..

Are we looking at pleasure for our kids (our ourselves, this is often the real problem)


Or are we looking at joy filled rewards?

When we’re giving our kids chocolate chips cookies, junk food, intense screen time or things like that for rewards, of course they like it! What human wouldn’t like that?

But when this is taken away, or our time is up, that leads to sadness or frustration.

Immediate flight or fight response.

In this, your reward backfires right away.


So instead of rewarding kids with things that bring PLEASURE, we should trade it out for things that bring JOY.

Pick something that they enjoy. Something that’s calming. Maybe they like cuddling with you, or having you read them a book, maybe the like playing with legos or going on a walk. Something not super overstimulating, something that won’t rev their brain up even more. You can see the difference between pleasure or something that will super rev your kiddo up, and something that brings them joy.

Try to choose rewards for JOY.

This works for us as adults and parents too. We should be trying to choose joy over pleasure in every aspect of our lives.

Let us know how we can help! We’re always excited to hear from you.


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