When to Reward Kids

Whether you’re a parent or a pastor (or both) sometimes it’s hard to know when to reward your kids. You want them to know you love them, but you also don’t want them to become entitled. So where’s the line? When I think about this for the kids in the ministry I lead and the kid I parent at home here’s where I’m learning to reward right now:

Milestones
When I think of milestones I’m thinking of the big events of life. Birthdays, commitment to Christ, baptism, those kind of things. Dictionary.com defines a milestone as  a significant event or stage in the life, progress, development, or the like of a person, nation, etc. In your context you’ll have to decide what those are. Learning to recognize turning points in your child’s life will help them embrace the next stage of their life.

Holidays
Holidays are a great time to reward kids. Typically we think of birthdays and Christmas here. But significant anniversaries (adoption placement and finalization and spiritual birthdays) are great times to look back and reflect on what God has done in the life of your child and family.

When they go above and beyond
When kids do something without being asked or reminded is an opportune time to recognize selflessness. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think every selfless act needs to always be brought to the light of day. Sometimes the reward of just doing the right thing should be reward enough. But occasionally rewarding kids for above and beyond behavior goes a long way to building in them the lifestyle you want to cultivate.

You’ll notice I didn’t spend much time on HOW to reward your kids. As the parent/leader in their life, you’ll know better than me. The two tips I do want to give is to not always make it the same thing, but definitely make it something THEY will like. Learn to change it up every now and again so your kids will appreciate it more.

How do you go about identifying when a child should be rewarded? What are some ways you go about rewarding your kids?

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One comment

  1. I completely agree. The bible tells us that God wants to give us good gifts, so why shouldn’t we be modeling the same with our children. I always want to make sure kids hearts are in the right place, but rewards are a good way for them be validated. We never reward for not being bad. That’s one form I don’t agree with. And we’re looking at adding more celebration at the milestones as well.

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