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Taking the kids along to run errands can be a chaotic experience. Getting them all into the car is hard enough, let alone maintaining discipline while out and about. With inexpensive toys from Dollarwise, you can take advantage of a few psychological tricks to take much of the burden off you, and keep order with significantly less effort. These methods work at home as well, and managed properly, can contribute massively to peace at home.

Positive Reinforcement

Studies show that, when it comes to bringing out the behavior we want in others, positive reinforcement is almost always more effective than negative reinforcement. This means that the promise of a reward has been scientifically shown to work better than the threat of punishment when it comes to influencing the behavior of others. Children are more likely to do what you want when doing so provides reward. They are less likely to do what you want when not doing so provides punishment.

The Problem With Punishment

Disciplining children with negative reinforcement when they do something bad, like acting out at the grocery store or fighting over the front seat of the car, can be effective, but it is extremely inefficient. The science shows that in order to be successful with a punishment-based disciplinary strategy, a parent has to hover over their children at all times and immediately respond to bad behavior. Punishment long after a bad action is less effective than punishment immediately after. As well, if the only thing stopping children from acting out is the possibility of getting in trouble, there is little reason to act good when parents aren't around. 

This means that while you are out-and-about, you have to dedicate a considerable portion of your attention to your children's behavior. In order to effectively influence the behavior of your kids, you have to pay attention to their actions so you can punish bad ones as soon as they occur. Moreover, the second kids are confident they are out of sight, they have little reason to act the way you want them to.

Reward-Based Discipline

Instead of punishing children every time they act out, it's possible to offer them the prospect of reward for good behavior, and doing so has a whole range of advantages. Interestingly, at a young age, it doesn't even matter what the reward is! So long as there is some kind of positive incentive for good behavior, a carrot instead of a whip, children are not only far more likely to act the way you want them to, but require substantially less monitoring!

How To Do It

When you're taking your kids out and about on an afternoon of errands, at the very start of the day make it explicitly clear to them that they will be able to choose any toy from Dollarwise they want if and only if they behave the way you want them to. Its important that you allow them to choose, as doing so is almost like a second reward. The prospect of getting to choose any toy they want from our massive selection is a fun process, one they will work to earn. Not only that, but they get a toy out of it!

Depending on how convenient it is, as an extra measure, take them to Dollarwise first, allow them to pick out their toy, purchase it, but don't allow them to open it until they've been good all day. Science shows that people will work harder to keep something they already have than to earn something they don't have. Being able to see the toy all day and know that bad behavior means it will be taken away is a powerful motivator to behave.

Dollarwise Discipline

Reward-based discipline is not only more likely to bring about the behavior you want from your kids, but also takes the burden off you as an authority figure. With the prospect of reward leading them where you want them to go, kids monitor their own behavior, meaning you don't have to. This means you can devote that extra focus and attention to your errands, get things done quicker and with less stress, and do your errands without coming home exhausted. All it takes is heading to your nearest Dollarwise next time you have to bring your kids out, and letting them choose a toy!