A Reward System that Actually Works

Have you been scratching your head, trying to find a way to get your kids to respond better to your requests (or demands)? I know I was in that space for some time a few years back. It didn’t effect just my kids but also with the kids that I worked with!

Then I came up with this rewards system and everything changed. The kids were more willing to do the things they were supposed to be doing. Their behavior was more positive. The environment was just overall a better atmosphere! 

Here is a step by step list of how I created this reward system from beginning to end!

1. Rules

What are the requirements and expectations? 

When I created this for my program at the elementary level I included our school rules. I also included being a role model, doing something nice for someone else, and helping others when needed. My girls were a part of this system because they went to the school and it easily translated to our home. 

Since I created that program we’ve moved to another state and I now homeschool the girls. The system still works the same, however, our rules are slightly different because our school day and home life blend together. So, the girls are supposed to complete their chores. They should do their best during lessons and read at least 5 nights a week. They should play nice with each other and be polite. They should definitely do something nice for someone else and so on. 

You can add whatever else fits with your family dynamics and expectations of your children. It’s also very good to go over these expectations as a whole in a family meeting. You want everyone to be on the same page. 

2. Payment

What will they earn when they have completed the requirements and expectations?

At the elementary I named the tickets the kids earned “SKC” tickets. This was because the program is called Scottie Kids Club and I decided to hand out “tickets” as their earned reward. These tickets could then be spent like money at my “SKC” store. It was their responsibility to keep a hold of these tickets and treat them like money. They also learned the concepts of saving and spending. It was a two for one win!

We are using the same concept at home, however, we are calling the tickets “You Did It” tickets. If the girls follow all the rules and expectations they can earn a ticket for the day. They can also earn an additional ticket if it is the 5th day of completion of their reading logs!

If you like the idea of the tickets you can download some here —> You Did It! TICKETS   or you can create your own, it’s not hard!

3. Incentives

What are the items that they can earn for reaching the requirements and expectations?

At the school program, funds were limited and I needed enough items for 350 students so I kept the items they could buy in my store simple. They could buy, for 1 ticket, things like pencils, erasers, and stickers. For 2 tickets, they could buy stamps, crayons, fancy pens, etc. For 3 tickets they could buy coloring books, books, and puzzles. Then for 4 tickets they could buy things like rubix cubes, sweat bands, bracelets, and squishy toys. I actually got a lot of my stuff at the Oriental Trading Company (<—- this is a link but I do not receive any payment from purchases). I could get a lot of bulk items for a cheap price!

Now, with my girls, I didn’t want to buy a lot “cheap” stuff because I didn’t want it laying around my house! 🙂 My girls love art stuff, playing makeup, and bath stuff. I searched for things similar that didn’t cost me more than $1 per item. I ended up spending about $12 my first trip out and that has lasted me about 4 weeks! You can also use things such as 10 extra minutes of staying up past bedtime, picking dinner, picking the movie or game for family night and anything else that your kids would enjoy! It doesn’t have to involve money at all! Just make sure that you do not include spending time with you as one of those options. They should know that they do not have to “buy” your time.  

4. "Cost"

How much will each item “cost” to earn?

When setting the cost with my program, I mainly did it based off of the actual cost of the item. If it cost me cents on the dollar it was worth 1 ticket and so on. 

With the items that I purchased for the girls, they were all under $1 but very close in price. I priced them based on my girls interests. I knew that the art stuff would be a hit so I made those worth 4 tickets. Play-dough and bubbly bath dust was the cheapest stuff I found so I made those worth 2 tickets (I didn’t make anything worth 1 ticket because I wanted them to work a little bit). The eye shadow I found I put at 3 tickets and the bath bomb 4. All of these items I’m talking about are in the picture below!  

5. Have FUN

Enjoy your time rewarding your children! It’s the positive behavior that counts!

Not only will this system allow for structure within the family, better behavior from your children but it should also be a way for you to build a better relationship and to have fun while doing it! 

I’d be thrilled to hear from those who recreate this system, tweak it, or build your own system! Let me know how it goes and if you have any questions don’t hesitate to reach out! 


𝐼𝓉’𝓈 𝒞𝑜𝑜𝓁 𝑀𝑜𝓂 

Special Thanks to Brooke Lark from Unsplash for providing me with my cover image for this blog post!