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Positive Consequences: Linking Rewards to Acceptable Behavior

Daughters kissing Mom on the cheek

Positive consequences can be a parent's best friend because they can be used to increase positive behavior. Give positive consequences and rewards after your child demonstrates positive or acceptable behavior.
Positive consequences are often referred to as rewards. Generally, a reward is any type of consequence that makes behavior more likely to recur. The reward consequence should be appropriate, immediate, important and linked to the behavior.

Sometimes, it's challenging to come up with meaningful consequences on the spur of the moment. A Joy Jar offers a quick and easy supply of consequences. You and your children can write down the things they enjoy on slips of paper. Put the slips in a jar, and the next time your child does something well, let him or her grab a slip from the Joy Jar.

Some of the rewards you might consider putting in your Joy Jar include:

  • Staying up late
  • Having an indoor picnic
  • Having a messy room for a day
  • Going over to a friend's house
  • Leaving the radio on at night
  • Choosing the TV program
  • Having a friend over
  • Choosing an outing
  • Playing a game with you
  • Playing a video game
  • Reading a story
  • Choosing a movie
  • Planning a meal
  • Taking a trip to the library
  • Having extra computer time
  • Choosing breakfast cereal at the store
  • Doing one less chore