HOUSTON - No matter your income, Menninger Clinic psychologist Alton Bozeman said you can come up with a reward system for your children that doesn't have to break the bank.
"So for elementary school students, it might be their screen time, how much time they get to play video games on the weekends is tied to tickets or tokens," Bozeman explained.
Meaning, if your little one did all their homework all week, they can accumulate something like tickets or tokens, maybe each one equals 10 minutes of screen time they can collect on weekends.
For middle school kids, it may be beneficial to provide one-on-one time with a parent.
"He loves playing basketball, so it's just going to be dad-and-you time at the park playing basketball or it's just going to be mom-and-you time going to the museum," Bozeman gave as examples.
By high school, the reward can be more allowance-based and less frequent than fulfilling weekly homework requirements.
Bozeman said to consider what you already pay for and make them earn it.
"Look at the areas where you're already giving them money for basic entertainment, basic social life with their friends, certain clothing that's more than what they actually needed and that's a good way to come up with the allowance," he said. "So for example, I as a parent, I owe you $35 shoes and I've done my parental duty. If you want the $100 shoes you're responsible for the rest of it. That would be kind of a way of where the money comes in or... We're going to do some family movies together. With all the movies you do with your friends, that's going to be on you. So you take the money you've already been giving them towards that, pull it all back and then that's how you come up with their allowance."
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