When it comes to rewarding and disciplining a child, you have to think about what the child’s individual “currency” is. This tactic is used by parents, teachers, and child development experts alike to effectively improve a child’s behavior and proactively prevent inappropriate actions. If you’re struggling to figure out “what works” for your child, it may be because you do not know his or her currency. Here are some tips for identifying a child’s currency so you can establish successful discipline tactics for the future.
Definition: What Is A Child’s Currency?
In general, the term currency refers to something used to pay for goods and services, like money, gold, crops, etc. From a parenting perspective, a child’s currency is a reflection of what he or she sees the most value in. This could be an item, an activity, a treat, or anything else that your child sees as valuable. Every child has his or her own currency. By identifying that currency, you can use it as a leveraging tool for disciplinary actions in the future.
Different Types Of Child Currency
The currency will vary from one child to the next, depending on his or her likes. Some common examples of currency include:
- Video Games
- Phones, Tablets, Or E-Readers (Kindle, Nook, Etc.)
- Extracurricular Activities
- Spending Time With Friends
- Playing With Pets
- Shopping For New Toys Or Clothes
The possibilities are endless, and your child may have more than one form of currency. Overall though, your goal is to define what means the most to your little one and use that as a tool for your discipline strategies.
Using A Child’s Currency For Discipline And Reward
Once you know what your child holds value in, you can use it as both a punishment and a reward. If your child does something well, he or she can be rewarded with the currency. If your child behaves poorly, you can take away some of the currency. As an example, let’s say your son’s currency is video games. He does well on a test in school, so you allow him to play his games for an extra hour on the weekend. The next week, your child brings home a series of bad grades. You discipline him by taking away his video game privileges until his grades improve.
You will have to make adjustments according to your child’s interests, but this is an effective way to improve your child’s behavior and social interactions.