Internal Rewards

One of the greatest things that we can teach our children is to feel internal rewards for things that they have done instead of expecting food or money as a reward.  It teaches them to;

  • Make themselves happy rather than relying on external rewards to make them feel good which will make them more resilient and less likely to be depressed.
  • Be self-motivated towards achieving their goals.
  • Feel rewarded whether someone else recognises their achievements or not.
  • They will not feel the need to post all of the things that they do daily on social media because they do not require reactions to feel good about themselves.
  • Be more inclined to do things because they feel good about it rather than because they feel that they have to – as parents, we won’t need to keep asking them to do things, they will just do it.
  • Believe in themselves.
  • Feel gratitude.
  • Be more compassionate and kind towards other people because they feel internally good when they are.
  • When they feel down they will be able to make themselves feel better instead of reaching for comfort food or going on a shopping spree.

How do we give them  internal rewards?

  • When they do something good, ask them how it has made them feel.
  • Tell them that you are proud of them and then ask them how that makes them feel about themselves.
  • Tell them how they have made you feel when they do something good.
  • Rather than giving them a food treat for playing sport, tell them what good they have done for their body and mind, that they played great and that they should feel very pleased with themselves – ask them to ‘feel’ pleased, maybe place their hand on their heart and feel the happiness that being part of a team and being active makes them feel.
  • Rather than giving them money for doing chores explain to them that when they have done a chore they are helping to make the family unit run well, and that what they do is an important part to a happy family.
  • Get them to do chores!  This is how they grow up to be thoughtful adults that other people want to live with.
  • Tell them that they do not need ‘rewards’ for doing something, that the reward is how it makes them feel inside, that lasts a lot longer & is far more beneficial than an external reward.

Please think next time before you give an external reward to a child – is there another way that you could reward them?  Could you provide them with an internal reward that will help them to live a better life and cope with life better as an adult?


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