My kid is 3,5 years old. He is such a sweetheart. We have a cute little rewards board on our cupboard I made myself with stars, so everytime he does something that he doesn’t like (poo poo in the toilet etc, or taking a shower with me(he is scared of out electrical shower device) we give him one star. We literally advance, so now we give him one star for two times poo poo etc. He gets the point of it, and loves it!
He wants to save his stars for a cinema visit or for a toy in the Disney store and that is basically 20 stars (He has 8 after 4 weeks). His reward can be chosen from some things that me and Fiance decide could be a good reward. At one point he was talking about saving up for a PUP (LOL, we are considering getting one for the fall). For the “small” (But amazing things we absolutely think he does) things he does, like helping me setting the table, picking up his toys etc, helping out in the kitchen, I usually give him alot of praise, hugs and telling him how good he is doing and he gets uber proud. He is positively affected by this in so many ways. He also have his little Cars wallet (soo cute) and we give him like a euro or two every saturday for his saturday snack (he loves shopping for his candy!!). He also has a little “goodie bag” with small small toys or snacks when he has been extra good or done something great that could be acknowledged. We have a little piggybank for him, so his saturday change from the candy shopping goes there. Works like a charm and he is happy about it!
Whenever he sees something that he wants in the store I always tell him, that if you really want it, you can get it for your birthday or save your stars. No fuss, no arguing. He is fine with this because I think he gets this outlet with the star boards etc. He started with it just for two monts ago.
When kids are small/young the most important things are to have shorttime goals and longtime goals. That pup will probably be coming in fall this year (a longterm goal), but in the mean while, we can treat him to small things and still have a really happy and positive outlook on behaving properly etc ( goodie bag, rewards board)
I guess when they are older things come out naturally. I was doing extra chores at home, and I got extra shopping money for clothes etc. It really helped me understand the value saving money etc. They should have a good life yes, but also get an early understanding that “No, money does not grow on trees etc. My kid already asks about this, and he knows why we work etc.
I’ve been reading alot in “The Incredible Years” By Carolyn Webster Stratton and has worked so great with our kid. He has been so insecure and very aggressive with alot of negative attention from his biological dad. But almost after using the book as a tool to understand my child, it has been doing wonders. Highly recommending it! 😀