Our kids are always experimenting, and one of the many joys of parenthood is seeing them blossom with confidence as a result. It's incredibly rewarding to watch as they learn to do things like share toys with siblings, say “please” and “thank you” in daily conversation, use the potty on their own, or tie their shoes — both for them, and us! But mastering these learned behaviors can take hours, days, or even weeks of practice and hard work before they can do them naturally. There will be struggles, frustration, and maybe even a few meltdowns along the way — so when things go well, it's helpful to have some ideas of ways to celebrate your kids’ accomplishments in your back pocket and ready to go.
Romper has worked with Pillsbury® Girl Scouts Baking Mixes to create this list of reward-worthy behavior, along with suggestions on how to show your appreciation of it. So the next time your little one impresses you by saying "thank you" to a stranger or the effort they’re putting into acquiring a new skill, try out one of the ideas listed below! A little positive reinforcement goes a long way in life, but it's especially true with kids because it establishes what should be repeated in the future!
1. Sweet behavior towards others deserves a sweet treat.
If you overhear your son or daughter making polite conversation with a relative, treating a sibling with respect, or sharing their favorite toy with a friend, let them know how proud you are. Invite the kids to help bake a batch of Pillsbury ™ Girl Scouts® Thin Mints®-inspired cupcakes as a special surprise!
2. Peace and quiet means special "mommy and me" time.
If the kids play quietly for a while, show them how much you appreciate that calm, focused energy. Spend some one-on-one time reading a book together, or consider taking a family trip to a place that’s both quiet and fun — like the library — to pick out some funny children’s books.
3. Putting away toys helps makes room for new ones.
If your child cleans up his or her toys without being asked, that’s a behavior you definitely want to encourage. Keep a stock of small, inexpensive toys, puzzles, or games hidden away, and when everything’s clean and organized, bring out something new that you can play with together. (If you have less to clean up, you’ve got time to play a little, too.)
4. Pitching in around the house earns playtime outside.
It’s always a good thing when kids show an interest in helping out around the house. Once they learn how to do basic chores, they can make life easier by taking on those chores in the future. After working hard inside, everybody deserves a trip to the park to play outside!
5. New experiences can be scary, but favorite dinners are delicious.
If your child tries something new, like a swimming lesson or a dance class, consider rewarding their courageous behavior with something tasty and familiar. At dinner that night, cook your kid’s favorite meal, and explain how they earned it with their bravery.
6. Homework done already? It’s time for a little family fun.
Convincing a kid to do homework can sometimes take a bit of effort, so if your little one takes the initiative and gets it done before you ask, surprise him or her with some extra free time. With the homework out of the way, the whole family can play a game or watch a TV show together (kid’s choice, of course).
7. Easy bedtimes mean fun bedtimes in the future.
If your kid does the whole bedtime routine without a fuss during the week, mention how much you appreciate it. Then, when the weekend rolls around, point out their usual bedtime, and offer a surprise — like an extra fifteen minutes of playtime, or staying up a bit longer to read a few more bedtime stories than usual.
This post is sponsored by Pillsbury® Girl Scouts® Baking Mixes.
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