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Rewards and punishments are conditional, but our love and positive regard for our kids should be unconditional. Here’s how to change the conversation and the behavior.
“I feel a sense of dread as bedtime rolls around. Here we go again.”
A dad said this in our family therapy office one day, describing his son’s pre-bed antics. The child would go wild as bedtime approached, stubbornly ignoring his parents’ directions and melting down at the mention of pajamas. The parents felt frustrated and stumped.
They asked us a question we hear a lot: Should they sternly send him to time out and take away his screen time when he acted this way (punishments)? Or set up a system to entice him with stickers and prizes for good behavior (rewards)?