How often do we set up rewards for our kids, only to be disappointed that they haven’t reached for them, that they’re not really interested in working for them?
Here’s one possibility: they may not be reaching or working for rewards because they are in some way scared, terrified, afraid of failure, or even afraid of their own success? (Yes, fear of success is very real! “If I do that well, then Mom will expect more from me!”)
A lot of our kids struggle with anxiety – whether it’s a co-existing diagnosis, or the resulting frustration from the challenges of managing their ADHD. When anxiety rears it’s ugly head, it’s extra hard to get ANYTHING done!
So when you’re setting up a reward system, start by getting clear on what you are rewarding. Is it a specific outcome? Or is it possibly just a reward for trying something, regardless of the results?
And don’t forget to include your child in the equation. Has he bought into the goal you’ve set? Are you on the same page with each other? Is there something else getting in the way, like some anxiety or confusion?
Rewards work great for many of our kids when they make as much sense to our kids as they do to us!