Printable Coupons for Kids to Reward Good Behavior

From Undivided Attention to Get Out of Time-Out Free

Let's face it. Being a parent sometimes means offering gifts or rewards for good behavior—or even offering bribes. When it comes to going to bed on time, brushing their teeth, or being patient while you care for a sibling, a reward is a concrete and visible way to tell your child you appreciate his efforts.

As parents, these coupons can be priceless. In the busyness of raising children, it's far too easy to forget even the most important promises, and forgetting leads to more parent guilt, which few of us need.

Just as kids are all different, some of these coupons will be more meaningful for some kids than others. If you're just getting started, take a moment to think of the behaviors you wish to reward. You may even want to make a list. Then think about the rewards your child would appreciate the most. As you look through these examples you may come up with coupon ideas of your own.

A piece paper in hand gives your child a visible promise of the reward and can make it feel a bit more real.

You can print these coupons and then clip them along the dotted line. Give them to your child as a gift or reward and redeem them on demand.

Then get started. There are enough challenges in child-raising. Let's make this one fun and easy for both you and your child!


Coupon #1: Get out of Time-Out Free

Coupon: Get Out of Time-Out Free

Time outs are a common discipline strategy though they appear to work best when combined with other techniques such as taking away a privilege or using a logical consequence.

It's recommended that time-outs be used no more than once a day. They are most helpful when they aren't used as the first line of defense nor reserved as a last resort. You may want to check out some of the most common time-out mistakes parents make.

Keep in mind that it's not always the child that needs the time out. If you're feeling overwhelmed, you may wish to give yourself a time-out (if you can do so safely). If you find that you are needing too many time-outs, check out our tips on how to how to discipline children with calm, Zen, and love.

Clip this coupon for your child to redeem to get out of a time-out free. Just as with regular time-outs, however, try not to lecture. Time-outs can lose their effectiveness when they are followed by more discipline.


Coupon #2: Good for 20 Minutes of Undivided Attention

Coupon: Good for 20 Minutes of Undivided Attention

As you look through these coupons, there are likely several that will stimulate your child's interest (and result in good behavior). But often the best reward for good behavior is simply time spent with you. 

When kids grow older, they rarely complain that they didn't get to watch enough TV. But they do complain they didn't get enough time with their parents.

Let your child tell you how she wishes to spend this undivided time coupon. You might be surprised.


Coupon #3: Good for 12 Readings of Your Favorite Story

Coupon: Good for 12 Readings of Your Favorite Story

Do you sometimes tire of reading your child's favorite story over and over and over? Do you catch yourself reciting the pages of these books even when you are alone at work or in your car? Children tend to have favorite stories that they like to hear ad nauseum. This coupon entitles your child to 12 readings of that favorite story.

Of course, you may wish to make variations of the coupon good for a number of books. Be generous with handing out these coupons and visit the library so you are prepared. Not only will you be giving your child priceless memories, but reading to our children is considered one of the best ways we can help our children become successful in school.


Coupon #4: Good for a 15 Minute Delay of Bedtime

Coupon: Good for a 15 Minute Delay of Bedtime

Bedtime is a challenge few parents escape. Even if you have a successful bedtime routine and are familiar with some of the ways to avoid bedtime tantrums, it's the rare child who doesn't test you.

This coupon for delaying bedtime for 15 minutes won't keep your child up long enough to mess up your carefully fought for routine ​but can feel like a major privilege to a child who doesn't like having their day end.


Coupon #5: Good for the Purchase of 10 Songs Online

Coupon: Good for the Purchase of 10 Songs Online

You can always buy your child an iTunes gift certificate and print it out online, but this purchase-on-presentation version gives you more control over what gets purchased and when. Redeem it by buying your child 10 songs of their choosing all at once, or make checkmarks or hole-punches across the bottom each time a song is purchased until you reach 10. 


Coupon #6: Good for the Purchase of 5 Videos Online

Coupon: Good for the Purchase of 5 Videos Online

If your child loves downloading episodes of favorite TV shows from iTunes, this purchase-on-presentation coupon lets you give them as a gift or a reward for positive behavior—and, unlike a pre-paid gift certificate, gives you control over what gets downloaded and when. 


Coupon #7: Good for 15 Minutes Computer Time

Coupon: Good for 15 Minutes Computer Time

Rationing computer time is often an effective motivation to increase good behavior and decrease zombie-like staring at the screen.

Before you do, however, there are a few things you should know. Learn how to set up an email account for your child that you can monitor. If they protest, simply let them know it is their only choice. An email you can monitor, or no email. Younger children can't understand why safety is so important, and older kids, well, they don't understand fully.

There are actually some good reasons to get your teen on Facebook, such as establishing an online identity and reinforcing useful skills, but caution is in order. Make sure that both you and your child do some research on the internet and social media safety. It's not just cyberstalkers that you need to worry about.

College and university admissions committees take an interest in what potential students share on their pages. And what geeks tell us is that "Facebook is forever." Even if you delete an entry doesn't mean it won't be found—by the admissions committee at your child's first-choice college.


Coupon #8: Good for 30 Minutes Television Time

Coupon: Good for 30 Minutes Television Time

Rationing television time is often an effective motivation to increase good behavior and decrease endless MTV and Disney Channel viewing. Make sure to add any restrictions regarding channels to the coupon in order to avoid disappointment and a potential meltdown when your child claims their reward.


Coupon #9: Good for 15 Minutes Video Game Time

Coupon: Good for 15 Minutes Video Game Time

Rationing video game time can also be an effective motivation to increase good behavior and decrease non-stop playing of Grand Theft Auto. As with the TV, make sure to print any restrictions (such as not allowing Grand Theft Auto for a younger child) to avoid disappointment. Coupons that don't provide what a child expects may also result in less interest and less interest in working for "rewards" in the future.


Coupon #10: Good for Skipping One Chore

Coupon: Good for Skipping One Chore

Household chores are a great way to teach your child responsibility and can give your child a sense of ownership as a member of your home and family. But just like adults, kids enjoy the opportunity to skip one of the chores from time to time.

If you have any limitations on the chores that can be skipped, make sure to note that on the coupon. It will also be important to be flexible because your child will probably present this coupon to you on the busiest day of your year and when you are most stressed!

Bottom Line on Using Coupons to Reward Good Behavior

Coupons are a simple way to make an objective promise to your child for good behavior, or for adding a fun item to his Christmas stocking. There have been debates about the value of positive discipline vs negative discipline but not only is positive discipline less stressful for kids, but it's also less stressful for parents.

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  1. Martinelli K. Are Time Outs Harmful? Child Mind Institute.