Reward System for Kids: Parents…What are Your Thoughts?

Do you agree with rewarding kids for good behavior, or do you feel like they should just be expected to do it?  Do you use a reward system or have you used a reward system in the past with your kids?  Did you feel like it was effective?  How do you teach them and train them to behave in public, at school, or at homeWhat do you expect from them?    As a teacher, I am not my student’s parent…but often I have to make many decisions in the classroom that a parent would have to make.  In other words…Parents, how do you do it?!!

Our school secretary fondly refers to a student as a “cherub.”   Sometimes over the loud speaker you will hear the words, “Mrs.—, you have a little cherub still waiting for you!”  The idea always makes some of the teachers laugh a little.  It really is paradoxical…really.  Our students are sweet, but they are not always cherubs.   Tight classroom management skills are an art form, any more.  In a classroom of 40+ students,  you have to be able to control them, or they will “go bananas” on you!


Teaching children how to behave as they walk in the first day, treating them with respect and expecting the same in return, speaking their love language, and taking an interest in them are only a few ways I have learned that help children learn the right way to behave.  I suppose it is very similar with parenting as well?  Parents, help me out here…. Do you agree or disagree?

There also seems to be a balance between allowing them to creatively express themselves and holding them to following the rules.  Not squashing their individuality with a rule book!  I have often wondered:  is a classroom or house full of perfect, quiet-all-hours-of-the-day kids healthy?  What do you think?  

I have used the 5-Star Listening Reward system every year I taught.  It came out of inspiration one day when a class was being so good I drew a star on the whiteboard for them.  They were so excited just to have a star on the board and it was so easy to do that I started to wonder…could you make a reward system out of that?

Here is how it works.


For every time they follow my expectations, the class earns a star on the white board.  They can also lose it when they are NOT following the rules (i.e. talking when they should be working!).  I have seen entire classes fall silent and get to work as I erase their hard earned stars.  When they earn enough stars on the board, they each get to choose a treasure from the prize box at the end of class.  I usually say they have enough on Friday.  If there is a student who misbehaves consistently, I write their name down to keep track.  Then on Friday I decide whether the students on my “list” have earned their prize back.  If they have not displayed the behavior I want, the whole class each gets one but those particular students do not.


I have had kids (who often have not much, if nothing to call their own) walk out with the happiest smiles on their faces because they earned something for doing their job in class.  I have had students walk out with tears streaming down their faces because everyone else got to choose a prize but they did not.  My heart always hurts a little…but you know what?  They were little angels the next week in class!  They learned!  Gradually, a classroom full of learning, creative, respectful students falls into place.IMG_20180907_133901

My prizes are in the form of little sticker sheets from the dollar stores that I get and cut up into each individual sticker.  Each student can choose one individual sticker.  It’s an expense, but I look at it that it’s a small price to pay to help me keep my sanity!


The students that I teach at my new school have a wild streak, but currently I would still give the 5 Star Listening method a 5-star rating!  It works wonders.  When you have a Kinder class with 40 students standing quietly in the hallway eagerly waiting their turn to come into music, then you know it has some merit to it!!  Still I wonder sometimes….

Parents, how do you do it??!!

Featured Comments of the Week:

Thank you, readers, for always leaving your thoughts below!!  I am truly the luckiest gal in the world to be able to open up this blog and find a comment(s) waiting for me.  They make me smile, laugh out loud sometimes, and head over to your blog to see what other tidbits of wisdom you have stored there!

stylebyjrose says:Omg I just saw that in your last pic (love the blazer, obviously, lol), but do we have the exact same gold snake necklace?!?! I think I’m wearing it in one of the pics in my post about the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. And maybe others too! It seriously looks exactly the same! I haven’t seen another one like it before 😍😍👊🏻👊🏻

How I wish it were the same!  I enjoyed our conversation via the blog on your very special, one-of-a-kind, Nordy necklace.

overthehillontheyellowbrickroad comments:  “For what it’s worth, I like to wear shoes that are flats. I have flats in lots of colors, some with rounded toes, some with pointed toes, etc. To me, they’re so comfortable and I can wear them all day without a thought.” 

I agree…and have been wearing flats now, per your advice.  My feet are definitely thanking me!  Thank you for writing that.

teacherturnedmommyblog writes: “cute finds and it is always great to find something you are looking for way cheaper than you would buy it somewhere else! Hope your first day back goes smoothly. Some days chocolate and caffeine are what you need to get through the day.”

Yes, oh the fun of thrifting!  Thank you ever so much for commenting.

Daily Dose of Whimsy says:Thrift stores are my jam! I recently went and found this old looking broom for $1. Someone else’s junk just became a Halloween prop for my living room display! I’m obsessed. Now I’m in the mood to go junk hunting again lol 

Lol, I understand what you mean about the “junk hunting” mood…it’s like hunting for hidden treasure.  Fabulous way of turning a $1 find into décor!





10 thoughts on “Reward System for Kids: Parents…What are Your Thoughts?

  1. Over the years I have done a variety of things with my sons and in my classroom. I am a firm believer in not rewarding for doing what is expected. It is expected. When you set the expectation and acknowledge the expected behavior it should be enough. I have taught at schools where I had to use a specific behavior plan, and never really liked it. It goes against my fair not equal feelings about interacting with children. I feel like we have got to a point in our society where children expect to be rewarded for breathing correctly. They get so much attention and often rewards for doing things that they should just do because they need to do it, that they are no longer intrinsically motivated to be kind, caring, cooperative students and friends. At this time, I am not using any type of rewards system in my classroom or with my sons. I hope to keep it that way

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I wanted to hear varying points of view so I really appreciate you taking the time to leave some input. Yes, I whole heartedly agree that there are certain expectations that are just simply expected. I consider these part of my music classroom routine that I teach at the beginning of school…i.e., hands/feet to yourself, no pushing, walk around the circle when you enter, being respectful. In my classroom, we practice them so we know how to do them. The previous schools I have taught at did not teach with a behavior plan so I have yet to experience that, but it sounds tough to “teach around”. Amen sister on our society tends towards a very “entitled” mentality and it can be reflected in some children’s attitudes! For my students, I do believe there are certain jobs (everyone singing well, going out of their way to help another student, etc.) they can do to work towards earning (emphasis on earning) a goal, whether it be a pizza party, prize box, outside time or some other motivation. I do the same every day, I come to work and do my job so I can get paid. I love teaching, but the payment is the motivation that keeps me coming…I like to think of it being similar!!…But then and again, that’s just my insignificant thoughts from my little corner of the universe. I enjoyed reading your comment…a lot of food for thought!! What grade do you teach? It is great to connect with another teacher via blogging!! 🙂


  3. I think your star idea is genius. It teaches team work and responsibility for one another. That way, in the future (even in their adult life) they should be able to make others aware of their wrongdoing. I bet the whole class doesn’t want to be punished for just one or two “bad apples”. I think the good ones would then motivate the others to do better. Having the list of individuals who constantly misbehave is good, because it doesn’t discourage the good kids. They know that no matter what others do, they still should behave well.

    I expect a lot. I don’t reward often. Mostly for something that I know is difficult. But that is subjective.

    Liked by 1 person

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