How Can I Reward Positive Behavior?


How Can I Reward Positive Behavior?

Let’s talk about behavioral change at home. I do a lot of parent coaching and I talk about “grow the seeds, not the weeds.”

What that means is really highlight behaviors that you like when your child does that at home and don’t talk about the stuff that they’re not doing, as long as it’s safe.

So, for example, let’s say your adolescent is on their phone constantly, maybe even at the dinner table and it drives you insane.

You’ve probably tried a bunch of times to “grow the weeds”, meaning you’re nagging them. They’re on the phone and you’re telling them “oh, you’re being anti-social…” or “put the phone down…”

What you should do is when they put the phone down, grow the seeds, not the weeds.

This means you say: “Oh, that’s so great that you put your phone down. I know how hard it is to disconnect from your friends. Thank you so much!”

That’s how you grow the seeds, not the weeds!


Click here for more content by Angie Mayo, LCSW!


  1. How do you encourage intrinsic rather than extrinsic motivation? I worry that when I praise or reward my daughter for something good, like social playing, she’s going to start doing it just for the promise of the reward rather than because it’s enjoyable by itself?


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here