One of the joys in life is having is having a child. When a child is a baby, we pamper it and make sure that every need it has is met. As a child grows into a toddler and it begins to walk around and speak a little bit, we realize that soon the small human will turn into a fully functional and independent person. As a child grows through the early years and into a pre-teen, we begin to see a fully formed personality that we must guide and direct to become a good human being.

As that young person turns into a teenager, sometimes there are challenges because of their search for independence. Parents must be extraordinarily careful to make sure that they provide good guidance to their children during this challenging time and teach them toward good decision making. For kids to respond positively during this time, they must be given positive reinforcement and shown that their behavior and activities are in line with what the parents expect.

One important area young people need to do well in is their schooling. Here are some ideas for positive reinforcement that parents can use to reward a teenager for doing well in school.

Let them go to the prom

The prom is an event that most junior and senior high schoolers look forward to all year. It is an event where they get a chance to exert a bit of their independence dress up in a nice suit and a prom dress, go on a date, and impress their friends. For a young man, they get the chance to dress up handsomely, bring their date a beautiful corsage, escort her to a function that is very formal, and be a gentlemen the entire evening.

For the young ladies it is an opportunity to shop for and select a beautiful long prom dress, to be treated like a superstar, to show their parents that they have matured and are ready to take on more responsibility, to hang out with girlfriends and talk about the boys, and to have one of the most exciting times of their lives.

If you allow them to go to this event, it will be a high point of their school year. So if your young person has been doing well in school, or you want them to start doing better, it’s great to bring the prom into the discussion as a reward for them.

Let them use your car on the weekends

When your son or daughter reaches 16 or 17, chances are they will begin the discussion with you about driving. Letting them handle an automobile is a big responsibility and you certainly have to determine whether they are emotionally and mentally ready to do it. If you determine that this is the case, a great reward for them is to allow them to have access to your automobile over the weekend. For young drivers, they will only be allowed to drive during the day when it is safest, but letting them make short runs in your car can give them a sense of independence and responsibility that can blossom.

Use positive reinforcement on your teenager to get them moving in the direction you want to see them go.