Gone are the days when a Fun Sized M&M pack would suffice as a reasonable reward for a job well done. When your child is constantly working hard in therapy, it’s hard to determine when, how much, and what kind of a reward you should give. From verbal praise to a trip to the toy store, here are five fresh and resourceful ways to let your little ones know just how awesome they are.
Take the time to create a high-five or handshake that is just for the two of you. Use the high five after your child pushes through a difficult task to show them how well you think they are doing. Bonus, it’s free!
As an alternative to using sweets as a reward, try making mealtime more fun. Simple things such as swapping out breakfast for dinner or making your child’s favorite dish are a great way to show some love and praise. Don’t forget to verbally let them know why the meal is a special treat. For example, “Tonight we are making waffles and eating in the living room because I saw how hard you worked in therapy today even though you were tired.”
What kid doesn’t love getting to pick out their toys of choice? Make a trip to the dollar store and stock up on fun games and toys. After a good day of therapy, let your little one pick his or her toy of choice from your stockpile.
Let’s be honest, our kids are obsessed with technology and we do everything in our power to keep them away from it. Sometimes we can’t help but give in to Dora the Explorer. Behold the cheapest and easiest way to make your kid smile from ear to ear; more time with their favorite device. Try to plan rewards involving electronics after therapy. Most likely, your kid is exhausted from their session and could use a little rest and relaxation.
Sometimes your kid is doing so great you just have to do something a little bigger than a high five or waffles with extra syrup. In this case, the best reward is experience based. If possible, plan a day to just get out, enjoy life, and have some fun. Typically, outings such as these help the entire family reset and recharge for more difficult days of therapy to come.
Where should you go? What should you do? One resource we typically overlook is right in front of us. Ask your kid for a little input and try your best to accommodate them. Who knew the combination of camping in the backyard after a full day of unicorn hunting could be so fun.