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Subject: Do you reward your kids with game time or expansions? rss

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Anitra Smith
United States
Auburn
Massachusetts
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Our kids love amiibos, Disney infinity characters, and boardgames. Our oldest in particular, is a bit of a collector, and always wanting more; she was super excited when we got the Machi Koro expansion, she's looking for more characters for her Krosmaster Arena game, etc. So far, we've kept most expansions or figurines as special gifts for Christmas, birthday, etc.

Does anyone set up game access or extra features as a reward system instead of simply as gifts?
 
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Michael McElroy

Cedar Hill
Texas
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If its something we don't play with them we will give as rewards. However, if we do enjoy it as a family I'm reluctant to give games or expansions as a reward (or even as a gift). I feel odd buying my kids a flick em up expansion when I love it as much as they do... I will, however, reward time with games the rest of us dislike. My son loves galaxy trucker. The rest of us hate it. If he's done something worthy of reward or we want to make it a special game night for him we drag it out. Most of the board games we play come out of our family entertainment budget. Video games are definitely rewards or gifts at our house.
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ParisianDreams
Canada
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No, we do not. She loves Takenoko and I did give her the expansion for Christmas, which she was excited about, but not as a reward. We do not tend to give rewards in general though.
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Nathanael Robinson
United States
Cary
North Carolina
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Playtime is never a reward. If there is time to play, we play. There might be times that we might place conditions. For instance, if Mr. E wants to play a game with an arduous, lengthy set-up, I may insist that he complete a number of tasks beforehand. Or if it is a long game and I have too much work, we will set a time for later in the week to play that particular game.

I have used small expansions as rewards for good performance. Usually it's something like a new piece for SW X-Wing or Imperial Assault, something I would not buy every week but that does not break the bank. More often than not, I'll take him to the FLGS and let him pick out what he wants.

This week he'll get such a reward, and I will make it more than he expects. He has a karate test (into blue belt), which usually gets something small. I am also happy that he got a good mid-quarter report from his teacher. The thing that really made me proud is that I heard he helped out a younger kid with a bully a school. The kid was thankful, and his mother praised my son for de-escalating the situation. I am surprised by his maturity and am very proud right now. Assuming all goes well with his test, I'll let him get something he's been talking about for about two months: Star Trek Panic. Maybe it's a little more than he deserves, but still ....
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Scott
United States
Westerville
Ohio
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My daughter is 5 years old right now. At 3 years old we introduced a behavior chart reward system. She gets to draw her own picture, but include 10 circles/spaces on it. When she does something we feel is deserving of praise, she gets a sticker in a circle. When the chart is full she gets a small reward.

It was various Imaginext/Playmobil/My Little Pony blind bags for quite a while. She is now super into Pokemon so that is often the reward now. Since she is older and her prizes are bigger, stickers are harder to get. Recently she was given the opportunity to choose the reward before the chart is full and have it sit on top of the fridge to remind her what she is getting. This came with the provision that bad behavior will cause her to get stickers taken off of her chart.

She loves games and painting miniatures with me so I'm sure that someday a figure or something will end up as a special reward for her and I'll have no issue with that. She actually has a couple of Super Dungeon Explore packs on her Christmas wishlist because she loves the style of them and plays with them constantly when I let her.
 
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Brett Hudoba
United States
Bloomington
Minnesota
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For me, I don't necessarily view it as a reward--simply put, game time is quality time with my kids, and I love that they share the same level of interest in the hobby that I do.

That being said, game time can also be a motivator. If it's a weeknight and my youngest wants to play a game that might cut into his usual bedtime, he'll willingly offer to put on his pajamas, brush teeth, etc. beforehand so he's ready to "hit the hay" as soon as we finish.
 
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Arlyn Janssen
United States
Lawrence
Kansas
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We have a sort of currency system for my son (son to be 8). He has chores, of course, but if there are times he goes above and beyond or does an especially good job, he'll get a button. He can then use buttons to "buy" screen time or little things ... and he generally uses that for Dice Masters boosters or Pokemon TCG packs. He saved up for almost 2 months for King of Tokyo: Power Up!, as well. So, yeah, I don't directly say "this for that" in terms of offering game stuff (I don't want to impose my interests on him), but he gravitates towards them anyway, when given the choice. He has an active list of games/expansions he wants that I consider for the "button menu" if it's small enough or otherwise for Birthday/Christmas if it's not something I would buy otherwise.

Game time is a given. When homework and chores are done (this includes mine, as well) we can play until bedtime.
 
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Anitra Smith
United States
Auburn
Massachusetts
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Thanks everybody! Your responses helped us frame up an episode of The Family Gamers Podcast which will be released later this week.
 
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Dave Millar
United States
Fort Wayne
Indiana
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The only one in our household is magic booster packs. One of our kids loves Magic, and it's an incentive for school work and grades.
 
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Geoffrey Burrell
United States
Cedar Rapids
Iowa
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Yes because anything to keep a kid off the streets and since people forbid spanking, (not when I was a kid). Punishment is about denial penalties along with timeouts.
 
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DJ Wilde
United States
Monroe
LA
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No. Game time is an important social construct and exercise. It should simply be a good part of your child's life. It's quality time and a solid part of your child's mental health.

That being said, you can employ whatever you want into a reward system for your child. Just remember that the goal needs to be desirable and attainable. I used extra heroclix pieces for a while and some game accessories. He's gotten video games as rewards for his reading. But time? Time should not necessarily be the reward. Kids like tangible things for that kind of stuff
 
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Mav
United Kingdom
Wellingborough
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My girls get rewards when they have done something beyond what is expected of them, good grades are expected so that will not gain a reward.

I have given games as rewards but only when the girls have requested it - basically they get to pick (in reason) what they will get.
 
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Alexandre Santos
Belgium
Brussels
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I'm afraid I have more interest in boardgames than my children, so it would be the other way round, perhaps when they grow up
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Naomi Ooooooooo

Alaska
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I am an aunt... so I just love it when they enjoy games too. I spent a good number of wonderful hours playing board games with my nephew last summer. I was very happy last weekend when I called my mom and found she and my niece were playing one of my games I left in the closet for the year (I teach in AK and spend the summer in MT). I'm glad the game is getting some use and very happy to hear they were playing games even without me always pulling them out every chance I get.
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