Promoting positive behaviour through praise and reward – some strategies for building skills and strengthening positive behaviours


Praise and reward are two of the most encouraging and positive ways to promote positive behaviour in children. As children learn to manage their feelings, help around the house, complete their homework, you can use these opportunities to notice and praise these behaviours, and in this way you will gradually develop and guide them to behave positively in future. As an example, you can say specifically what it is you appreciate that they have done; “Thank you for being thoughtful and putting your plate away without needing a reminder.” “Good work on completing your homework so early, you’ve done very well.”

Along with praise, rewards can work well in helping guide positive behaviour in children learning new routines or given new responsibilities. You should only give a reward after a certain behaviour has been displayed and be clear on the particular behaviour you are rewarding. Be sure that you don’t reward any unwanted behaviour – for example, if children are nagging or whining for a reward, if you give one at that point, they will learn that that behaviour pays off. Rewards don’t have to be extravagant, either. Some rewards you can give include; praise, hugs, stickers, stars on a star chart, a chance to play with a special toy or a fun activity.

The Wishing Well foundation

The Wishing Well was established in 2010 to offer children in out-of-home care, such as foster care and residential care, a range of healing and treatment options usually not accessible as a free therapy in mainstream health.

The Wishing Well raises funds to enable children and young people to access developmentally-appropriate and trauma-informed treatments shown to be highly effective in dealing with severe trauma and neglect. These therapies respond to the unique needs of each child and young person.

The Wishing Well is a not-for-profit incorporated charity organisation, established and managed by people seeking to improve outcomes for children and young people in out-of-home care and their families. The Wishing Well recognises the importance of the act of giving. We recognise the significance of the participation of community members and all donations are most appreciated.

The Wishing Well operates ethically, effectively and empathically with a view to achieving quality outcomes and a satisfying working environment.

Support the Wishing Well

The Wishing Well uses its funds to help children in need access all manners of developmentally-appropriate and trauma-informed treatments. The Wishing Well takes referrals for any child/young person in out-of-home care in NSW.  Applications are assessed by qualified personnel and on a case-by-case basis.  The decision to fund an application is affected by the following:

  • Funding availability
  • The support the child/young person has to access the proposed therapies
  • The capacity and willingness of the Carer Household to support the child/young person
  • Assessment, which recommends and supports the proposed therapy as relevant to meeting the particular needs of the child/young person

The Wishing Well gratefully receives donations, funding and resources through bequests, corporate partnerships, fundraising events, grants, online donations and other fund raising activities. Money donated to The Wishing Well enables traumatised children access to healing therapies. Please see our website for more information:


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