How To Be a Better Dad: Rewarding Your Kids

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How To Be a Better Dad is the Fatherhood and co-parenting section on SingleDad. Share and exchange great fatherhood advice from our members who are in all stages of fatherhood This month, learn about how to reward your kids without going crazy or broke…..

How To Be A Better Dad: Rewarding Your Kids Without Going
Crazy or Broke

Despite the age of entitlement, rewarding your children is
an integral part of good parenting. But, when do you reward them? For what good
behavior should a reward come their way? And how much of a reward do you give?

Is it good parenting to reward them for:

  • Doing their homework?
  • Getting good grades in school?
  • Taking out the trash?
  • Picking up the house?
  • Putting their clean laundry away?

Or, should these and many other household duties fall under
the umbrella of expected behavior and not warrant a reward?

rewarding kids with ice cream

There is no question parenting is hard, particularly as a
single dad. It has always been
difficult, but the 21st century brings additional challenges to
parents, especially single ones. Video games, the Internet, cable television,
and other technology has made the world smaller while also capturing the
imagination and dominating the time of everyone, including your children.
Technology combined with the age of entitlement has changed attitudes and your
kids are no exception.

They see money and they want money. But, how to you reward
them for their behavior without going crazy…and without going broke?

The Best (and Easiest) Way To Reward Your Children

For single dads, time is at a premium. It’s hard to make
rules and enforce them. The easier you make it for yourself, the easier it will
be to remember and stick with.

The best way to create a reward system for your children is
to set up a weekly allowance for doing a few specific chores. You can list a
few tasks that fall under the category of expected behavior, a few that earn a
weekly reward (allowance), and then a few that earn a special reward.

Dad giving kid allowance

Here’s basic example of how to set up a reward system:


Basic tasks – no reward

  • Doing
    homework
  • Putting
    clean clothes away
  • Cleaning
    and putting their dishes in the dishwasher

Tasks for a weekly allowance (reward)

  • Taking
    the trash out before trash day
  • Being
    ready for school on time each day
  • Cleaning
    their sink and counter in the bathroom each week.


Special rewards

  • Good
    report card (you decide what is good)
  • Special
    cleaning tasks – cleaning the entire bathroom, vacuuming the house, etc.

However you want to set up your reward matrix is up to you.
This may depend on your child’s behavior, how many children you have, and the
ages of your kids. But, the key is to make a decision, set up a workable
system, and then stick to it!!

kid with good report card

5 Keys to Creating and Maintaining a Reward System for
Your Children

  • Keep
    the rewards reasonable. Enough to make them look forward to their
    allowance, but low enough to help them understand the value of money.
    Amounts will also depend on your standard of living to some extent, and on
    their ages.
  • Don’t
    listen to their arguments. Children will undoubtedly compare their rewards
    with the excessive (often not real) rewards of their peers. Don’t fall for
    their begging, manipulations, and pleas to your sense of fairness and
    equality. Set a reasonable amount, stick to it, and if you want to raise
    it, do so after an extended period of good behavior.
  • Take
    away rewards if they don’t do their tasks. This is not as easy as it
    sounds. All parents, and especially single dads, are tired at the end of a
    long work day – it’s easy to give in. Stick to your guns and, if they
    missed one or a few tasks, deduct rewards. Don’t feel bad for them – don’t
    take the easy way out.
  • Clear
    explanations are crucial. If you change their allowance, deduct for
    specific issues, or even give them extra for special rewards, make sure to
    tell them precisely why the reward changed.
  • Use
    the reward system to talk with your kids about finances. You don’t want to
    do this every time, but here and there it is good to have a brief but
    informative conversation about spending, saving, and budgeting.

Got Kids? Need Fatherhood or Single Parent Advice?
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Richard JaramilloRichard “RJ” Jaramillo, is the Founder of SingleDad.com,
a website and social media resource dedicated to single parenting and specifically for the newly divorced, re-married, widowed and single Father with children.
RJ is self employed, entrepreneur living in San Diego and a father of three children. The mission of SingleDad is to help the community of Single Parents
“Make Life Happen…Again!”

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Richard “RJ” Jaramillo, is the Founder of SingleDad.com, a website and social media resource dedicated to single parenting and specifically for the newly divorced, re-married, widowed and single Father with children. RJ is self employed, entrepreneur living in San Diego and a father of three children. The mission of SingleDad is to help the community of Single Parents “Make Life Happen…Again!”